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  • Social Media Use Statement

    Social Media Use Statement

    Posted: Wednesday April 24, 2024

    Have your say, the respectful way.

    Social media is a great way to stay connected and informed. It can be a useful tool; however, people should be aware that not all information found on social media is accurate, truthful and transparent. There are certain individuals and groups whose purpose is to encourage and promote inaccurate information.

    City staff are bound by legislation regarding the protection of privacy, and as such are unable to comment on social media with details regarding specific files or individuals involved in private confidential matters. In addition, municipalities don’t have the resources to be able to respond to each post on social media containing false or inaccurate information. However, all municipal decisions are made with the confidence that we have all of the required information to make accurate and informed decisions, we just may not, due to privacy legislation, be able to share all of that information with the public.

    City employees are trained professionals in their chosen field. In addition to privacy legislation, City employees are also bound by legislation such as the Planning Act, the Ontario Fire and Building Codes, Zoning By-laws and other municipal policies and by-laws governing municipal operations. Enforcement of the by-laws and regulations is done on a complaint basis and due to the limited resources available, the City focuses on infractions that have an impact on the health and safety of residents.

    The majority of the complaints, permits and licenses received annually are resolved in an amicable manner. Citizens work with staff and staff provide them with guidance and advice to assist with their needs. In the rare situations, when we are unable to provide assistance, it is because we are bound by higher legislation such as the Building Code or Ontario Fire Code and making exceptions or amendments simply aren’t possible at the municipal level.

    The majority of citizens who interact with the staff at the City, have positive experiences and are satisfied with the outcome of the situation. Unfortunately, some perceive challenges during their interactions with the City and take to social media to voice their dislike or disapproval of the process or issue. When social media posts are created in a respectful manner, opportunities for further discussion and reflection can be created, but when posts are created in a disrespectful, inaccurate and slanderous manner, it can be incredibly harmful.

    Please remember City staff are working hard to serve you and may be members of the community. When they are harassed online, they cannot respond, and we all have a responsibility to speak out against it.

    Before you take to social media to post about the City or its employees, please take a moment to reflect on the situation, and ask yourself the following questions:

    • How you would I feel if someone posted negative comments about me on social media?
    • What outcome am I hoping to achieve by sharing my story?
    • Is the information in my post, accurate and truthful and am I sharing all of the important information.

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