News / Calgary

Calgary-based graduate student group revokes award given to Sutherland after comments

Graduate Students’ Association Political Leadership Award was presented to Sutherland in April of 2017

The Graduate Students' Association is revoking an award they gave to Ward Sutherland after public outcry about comments the councillor denies he made at a candidate forum.

Wednesday night, Sutherland said he was misunderstood when live-stream viewers heard him say "Johnny Jew from New York," in reference to the artists the City of Calgary's public art program chose in 2013 – he clarified Thursday afternoon he was referencing Jimmy Choo.

But the board of Calgary-based GSA went ahead and voted to take back the the Graduate Students’ Association Political Leadership Award they gave Sutherland in April of 2017.

According to their release, the award was created to recognize leaders in the political field who championed graduate student issues and demonstrated a high level of conduct while doing so.

GSA vice-president external Willem Klumpenhouwer wrote that the councillor's recent comments demonstrated Sutherland is not capable of the conduct the association expects in leaders.

"We simply cannot let offensive and derogatory comments go unnoticed," wrote Klumpenhouwer. We must stand up and call out unacceptable and hateful language instead of allowing it to pass by without consequence."

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