News / Calgary

Coun. Diane Colley-Urquhart steps down from police commission

Resignation comes one day after CPC announced informal resolution to complaints brought against the councillor

Coun. Diane Colley-Urquhart stepped down from the Calgary Police Commission Tuesday following a statement from the CPC which indicated they had reached a informal resolution with the councillor following complaints made about her behaviour.

Metro File Photo

Coun. Diane Colley-Urquhart stepped down from the Calgary Police Commission Tuesday following a statement from the CPC which indicated they had reached a informal resolution with the councillor following complaints made about her behaviour.

The Calgary Police Commission said they were surprised by the resignation of commission member and city councillor Diane Colley-Urquhart from the CPC, Tuesday.

Commission chair Brian Thiessen said they received her letter of resignation Tuesday.

“Though this resignation comes as a surprise, we would like to thank Coun. Colley-Urquhart for 10 years of service to the commission,” said Thiessen. “Coun. Colley-Urquhart brought significant expertise and a passion for public safety. We valued her perspective and contribution and wish her the best of luck.”

This comes the day after the CPC released a statement indicating they had informally dealt with complaints about Colley-Urquhart’s public response to workplace harassment issues within the Calgary Police Service.

Metro reached out to Colley-Urquhart both Monday and Tuesday. On Monday she responded with "no comment" and on Tuesday she did not return Metro's calls or texts.

In 2016 Colley-Urquhart made numerous comments in the media about the CPS workplace issues stemming from a 2013 report that outlined bullying and harassment on the force. The mayor, police Chief Roger Chaffin and the CPC made statements that were prompted by Colley-Urquhart wading into the debate.

On Monday, Thiessen said he believed the issue had been rectified and that Colley-Urquhart planned to work more effectively with the CPC moving forward.

Jen Ward, a former Calgary police officer, who publically resigned at the January CPC meeting due to issues with workplace culture as well as bullying and harassment within the Calgary Police Service, said she’s upset by Colley-Urquhart’s decision to resign.

Ward was one of a handful of female CPS officer who met with Colley-Urquhart last year in the hope that she would be their ally in navigating and resolving the workplace culture issues.

“I am shocked and saddened by this because I felt like she was one of the few people who actually understood what we were going through and now that she’s not there it will be hard to build that level of trust with the people on the commission when we barely know them,” she said.

Ward 8 Coun.  Evan Wolley said however, that some of the blame for how CPC handled complaints from officers belongs to Colley-Urquhart.

“If you sit on the commission for 10 years, you’re responsible for building the processes,” said Woolley. “You can’t turn around and call it broken if you were part of building it.”

With files from Helen Pike

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