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Staff, city made to feel unsafe by online harassment: Fernie city officials

The city further elaborated on a decision to limit Facebook commenting
City of Fernie city hall. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

Fernie staff have faced an increase of online bullying and harassment, leading to the city shuttering commenting on its Facebook page.

Chief Administrative Officer Michael Boronowski said Nov. 10 that it’s become “all too regular” for the mayor, council and staff to be targeted on social media.

“This bullying online spills over into the real world too. It’s unacceptable that we’ve had to speak to our loved ones, our children, about what car to watch out for, or when not to go outside,” he said.

“It’s unacceptable that we have been followed from workplace to workplace, recorded while we work, or in our yards and homes, and followed as private citizens as we try to go about our lives in the community.”

In a news release, the city pointed the finger squarely at “a small group of individuals, and one individual in particular” as being guilty of this behaviour.

Christopher Bruce Inglis was ordered into a period of recognizance for nine months in October 2020 due to his harassment of city officials.

Inglis posted on a community Facebook group, saying that the city is overreacting by limiting comments.

The city addressed this in a statement Tuesday, calling his comments “disingenuous at best” and calling for residents to join them in standing up against online bullying and harassment.

Elk Valley RCMP confirmed Inglis was placed into a period of recognizance that has since expired, and that there was no further police involvement in the matter.

READ MORE: City shuts off Facebook commenting, citing increased bullying and harassment
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