Recall Gondek petition organizer on meeting with mayor, sign vandalism and updated signature count

Rebel News was once again joined by Landon Johnston, fresh out of his meeting with Mayor Gondek.

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The petition to recall historically unpopular Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek is gaining traction, it would seem, with every decision she makes. Her latest efforts to rezone the entire city for high-density housing being just the latest example in an ever-growing list of reasons why shy is unfit to lead.

Unsurprisingly, Gondek and her allies  instead of soberly reflecting on why their bad policies have landed her in hot water with so many Calgarians  have instead gone on the offensive, decrying a very democratic petition as undemocratic and peddling ill-founded conspiracy theories about an imagined conservative underworld of nefarious boogeymen who are secretly behind the recall efforts when the campaign is in reality the grassroots initiative of one fed up citizen named Landon Johnston.

Gondek’s supporters, and according to some even city staff and Calgary police, have been taking down, damaging and defacing Recall Gondek signs across the city, all while her allies in the media besmirch the petition with half-truths and disinformation.

The rhetoric being told about the Recall Gondek petition went so far over the top that Gondek issued a statement after meeting with Landon in which she acknowledges that, “many people who signed the petition are real people, not involved in a larger political play, just people concerned with the future of the city”. The statement falls short of a proper apology, but Gondek does seem to loosely acknowledge that her actions have polarized Calgarians.

As we continue our mission of telling the other side of the story, Rebel News was once again joined by Landon Johnston fresh out of his meeting with Mayor Gondek. (If you’d like to watch our first interview, you can do so by clicking here).

We asked Johnston about his meeting with the mayor and what they discussed, in addition to breaking down the chaos of the days leading up to the meeting with signs being defaced and destroyed across the city and with many questionable mainstream media reports calling the motivations of his campaign into question.

We asked if and how large politically-motivated groups have become involved in the petition and whether Landon believes his campaign had been ‘co-opted.' We also inquired about whether he believes the mudslinging he has endured is simply a result of salty Gondek loyalists not liking that his petition is sending a resounding message that people are sick of Gondek's shoddy leadership.

Landon provided us with an update on the progress being made towards the 514k signatures required by April 4, and whether he believes they can reach their goal. To date roughly 45k signatures have been counted, but Landon says that he believes the bulk of signatures are still in the hands of volunteers who are hard at work pushing for more folks to sign.

Rebel News also spoke with one of the individuals coordinating the Recall Gondek signs around the city and he discussed the difficulty they were having in getting a clear response from the city on signage rules. He also discussed the lack of communication from city officials when signs were being taken down despite contact information for the registered Recall Gondek campaign being included on the signs and despite their repeated efforts to speak to with city staff.

The City of Calgary, despite a reported unwillingness to be forthcoming with the sign organizers, did eventually release a statement insisting that all sign removals were a result of bylaw offences and incorrectly placed signs. You can read their statement here.

We also heard back form Calgary police who affirmed that there is an ongoing investigation into the vandalism which saw Recall Gondek signs defaced with “respect Gondek” messaging. Police also replied to our question about photos on social media purporting to show officers harassing individuals collecting signatures, and they have shared that they are looking into the incident and will get back to us.

Just days after being elected, Jyoti Gondek showed Calgarians the type of mayor she was going to be when she declared a climate emergency in the city despite never campaigning on such a dramatic action. Since then, it has been more of the same radical activism and failure after failure in tackling real issues.

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