Source: Facebook

Calgary police say they are investigating after a recall Mayor Jyoti Gondek campaign sign was defaced. 

A video circulating on X shows two older women painting over a “Recall Gondek” so it says “Respect Gondek” instead. 

Police say officers were called to Parkdale Boulevard NW and 30 Street NW around 10:20 a.m. on Tuesday, March 19, for reports of property damage to a billboard on a grassy median.

The Calgary Police Service says the investigation into the incident is ongoing, and anyone with information on the matter is encouraged to call police.

X users believe one of the women is Carolyn Pogue, who posted selfies with a paintbrush next to the defaced signs on Facebook.

“Respect is such a beautiful word. Hope we can try some for our elected mayor,” Pogue wrote in a post accompanying the photos.

Amendments made in 2022 to the Municipal Government Act permit the recall of municipal officials. The city says 514,284 signatures are needed to recall Gondek, or 40 per cent of the city’s population. 

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith said the recall legislation is “a little unfair” because the bar is so high. 

Because of how the legislation is worded, those working on the recall campaign are seeking signatures from 40% of Calgary’s population — including children — rather than 40% of the electorate, Smith said. 

“And when I say we may have set it too high, is that it seems a little unfair that you’d have to have a petition campaign that would include everyone under the age of 18 (and) people who are not eligible to vote because they’re not citizens,” she said. 

Petitioner Landon Johnston agrees the criterion is ridiculous. In an interview with True North last week, he said it’s “statistically impossible” to get enough signatures. 

Gondek has said she won’t resign before the next election in October 2025, although in an interview with CTV, she did say the campaign to recall her “stings a little bit.”

A December 2023 ThinkHQ survey conducted among 1,116 Calgarians revealed a 30%approval rating for Gondek’s performance. That rating was down six points from June and came after Gondek announced a 7.8% residential tax hike.