City of Red Deer orders Coun. Buchanan to apologize to city, residents, businesses, staff, council for COVID social media posts

Following an independent investigation stemming from a complaint received by Red Deer city council in April, Coun. Buck Buchanan faces sanctions for breaching Red Deer City Council’s Code of Conduct Bylaw.
By a majority vote on July 26, Council accepted the findings in the investigator’s report, which conclude that Coun. Buchanan breached three sections of the Code of Conduct Bylaw.
The formal complaint submitted by Mayor Tara Veer in response to public and staff complaints, said Coun. Buchanan breached the bylaw through his social media activity in January 2021 and prior actions, causing city council to lose leadership credibility and frustrating the city’s pandemic response efforts.
A review concluded that Coun. Buchanan breached three sections in the Council Code of Conduct Bylaw, including the laws of Parliament and Legislature, respect the municipality and its bylaws, and conduct themselves in a manner that promotes public confidence.
At issue was a social media post made by Coun. Buchanan in January 2021, combined with his prior actions. The post was considered disrespectful to the local pandemic response and efforts and increased a division in the community between individuals in favour of and opposed to health restrictions. This damaged the city’s reputation and hurt the city’s pandemic response, the city claims.
The city now wants the councilor to publicly apologize to Red Deer residents, businesses, staff, and council for his actions and social media post on January 27, 2021.
The city also wants him to apologize to AHS.
He is suspended from all council committees and deputy mayor rotation duties until the city says “sincere apologies” are provided.
He is also ordered to complete social media training.