An Open Letter to the City of Calgary and its Council Members: “As your new Integrity Commissioner…”

Dear City of Calgary and Calgary Council Members,

Greetings and good day! My name is Kathleen Sawisky and I am your new Integrity Commissioner. Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Integrity Commissioner? We only voted to get one yesterday!” and “I don’t see your resume anywhere” and “Please stop calling us with complaints about your neighbour’s choice in music.” But you see, I’m doing you a favor here, folks. I’m not saying any one councilmember is so blitzed out of their mind that they lack the capacity to make any decision about who is hired for the job or what qualifications they should have, but if that were the case it would clearly be in your best interest to simply accept that I am the best possible candidate and allow me to start work as soon as possible.

Of course I may not seem the most qualified given, as I write this, I am only just about to graduate with my Bachelor’s Degree in Communication. I am only 25, and thus your preconceived biases about people my age might suggest that I am more likely to encourage a lack of integrity than monitor the integrity of others for particular shortcomings. I assure you that is not the case. Why, only last year I was nominated for Sainthood by Bono. My greatest flaw as a human being is that I am simply too loving. And also that I am a serial liar (accusations which have not been confirmed in a court of law and therefore hold no validity as far as I am concerned.)

Nonetheless, I trust the hiring committee will easily accept my appointment as Integrity Commissioner. I guarantee in this position I will bring about a new age of ethical and moral standards within Calgary City Hall. My wrath will know no equal, and my comedic antics will ease any awkward conversations with those ‘problem drinkers’ that will undoubtedly need to be dealt with.

For the record, integrity is defined by Google as “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness”. Ah yes, moral uprightness. Well, just another reason I am going to make a fabulous Integrity Commissioner. I am full of uprightedness thanks to my surgical-steel reinforced spine! The moral part might be a bit sketchy, but you know, once we really get down to definitions I’m sure we can find a concept of ‘morality’ that we’re all happy with!

As your new Integrity Commissioner, I have created the following handy list for Council Members to look over. If you answer yes to any of the following questions then you need to make an appointment with my assistant to meet with me at the earliest possible convenience. Also, where do I get my assistant? Is there a closet where we keep them next to the staplers or… Never mind, I’ll just ask Nenshi.

  1. Do you frequently black out only to wake up hours later with no memory of what happened?
    1. Follow up: When you wake up are you covered in blood and/or human feces?
  2. Do you find the only way you are able to get through a single one of your monotonous days is by imbibing in at least one sip of that sweet, sweet, fermented liquor?
  3. Do you read The Sun frequently?
    1. Follow up: If yes, do you need a stiff drink before you can read it?
  4. Do you drink alone?
    1. Follow up: Do you believe you are not drinking alone if you pour yourself two drinks at once?
  5. Have you, at any point in time, ever had sex with a random stranger in a Taco Bell parking lot?
  6. Do you make excuses for your drinking, such as:
    1. “Mankind has been drinking fermented beverages for over ten thousand years. What harm could one more drink do to me?”
    2. “I have to talk to Ezra Levant today.”
    3. “I am so very lonely.”
    4. “If I’m the only one not drinking then I will have to be DD for the Councilman from Ward 3, and I just hate Ward 3.”
  7. Is every special occasion an excuse to drink?
    1. Tax season? Drink!
    2. Arbour Day! Take a drink!
    3. Didn’t run over that homeless guy in my drunken stupor last night! Have another drink!
    4. Somebody sneezed? Kegger!
  8. Is your family concerned about your drinking?
    1. Follow up: Do you even still have a family, man?
  9. Do you find Axe Body Spray is the only effective way to mask that strange smell that seems to be coming from your pores?
  10. Do the workers at the bottle depot know you by name?
    1. Follow up: Are you going over to their home for the holidays because your family left you?
  11. Are you are the Scouts favourite home on the block?
  12. No pants Friday? No pants every day!

I believe this list incorporates a wide enough range of issues for any member of City Council suffering from extreme alcoholism, or even slight alcoholism. Basically, basically anyone who is drinking when they shouldn’t be.

Of course, there is always the question about when the members of City Council are not on the clock. I’ve created a handy reference list for them to glance at should they find someone trying to ply them with booze.

  1. Is it between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.?
    1. If yes, do not drink.
  2. Are you home?
    1. If yes, you can have a damn drink.

You see, by simplifying the question of When is it appropriate to drink? To When do other people who don’t work in City Council drink? We are able to more successfully identify when drinking should occur.

What I’m getting at folks is that you’re just a damn City Council, not a leader of a major western civilization. If the guy working at DQ can’t drink during his working hours, neither should you.

Now, I understand this might be difficult for some of you to hear. “But we were voted in!” you might protest. “We are politicians! We earned the right to have a drink or two in between our meetings!” My response to you is very simple: “No, you don’t. Stop being an immature tit about it and get back to work, you lazy dumb-dumbs.”

I understand as the Integrity Commissioner I should not resort to name calling, but the fact of the matter is that I was hired (?), not for my cheery disposition, but for my ability to destroy those who stand in my way in my rise to power. Actually, I’m not sure why I was hired (?), all I know is that I am clearly the most qualified person for this position, and you won’t regret your decision (?) to hire me. (?)

I look forward to getting to know each and every one of you as I brutally cut down your ego and berate you for wasting our time. Now if you’ll excuse me, it is time for my 9:06 a.m. brandy and cigar.

Most Sincerely,

Kathleen Sawisky, esq.

Integrity Commissioner

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