When, if ever, is it OK for members of York Regional Council to block people from posting comments on their (the elected officials) open Twitter accounts?

Tomorrow (30 June 2022) the Council will be asked to amend the Region's Code of Conduct to outlaw blocking which is "arbitrary".

It should be a fascinating debate. The report from the Regional Clerk, Christopher Raynor, is ground-breaking. Very few municipalities have tried to offer guidance to their members on how best to navigate social media and Twitter in particular which is seen as a virtual "Town Square"

The report was triggered by a bitter feud last year between Richmond Hill's Carmine Perrelli and one of his constituents who claimed he was arbitrarily blocked for expressing a legitimate opinion on how Perrelli was dealing with the Covid emergency.

The Integrity Commissioner was brought in and found that the arbitrary blocking of people from open social media sites was contrary to the Code of Conduct. However, in certain circumstances, blocking could be necessary and appropriate.

My MP, Tony Van Bynen, has blocked me from posting comments on his open Twitter account ever since he was first elected to Parliament in 2019 - the year he joined the Liberal Party. And before that, when he was a member of York Regional Council he blocked me then too. He has never offered a reason.

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