Time to Log Off
Less than a week after former Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced his departure from politics to pursue a new career, another politician is probably wishing she too was retiring. Despite having arguably one of the best jobs in government, Senator Nicole Eaton has gone into hiding this week after saying a few things, or rather many things, she probably now wishes she hadn't.
Who is she?
Long story short, Sen. Eaton is, as the prefix suggests, a Senator that was appointed to the Senate in 2009 by former PM Harper. The senator has proven to be no stranger to controversy over her 7 years in the Senate and appears to speak her mind. Not only has she previously suggested that Justin Trudeau's father, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, refused to fight the Nazi's in WWII, but she has also proposed changing the Canadian national symbol to a polar bear from a beaver, calling it a “dentally defective rat.” Not surprisingly, these comments landed the senator in hot water but eventually blew over. However, it seems like Sen. Eaton likes to swim more than your average Senator and is back in the headlines once again.
What Happened This Time?
One might assume that after being shamed for previous comments made on social media that Sen. Eaton would try to be more careful with her online posts. Unfortunately, it would appear the Senator failed to learn from her mistakes and made several more errors in judgement when she posted comments criticizing the new bike lanes in Toronto.
Her comments started in early August when she referred to Toronto as a third world country and hinted at her dislike for bike lanes:
"Toronto needs basic housekeeping. Compared to NYC, London and Paris, a third world country." - @SenEaton, August 5th 2016
"Why is TO such a mess?instead of bicycle lanes what about park maintenance, road paving and sidewalk fixing instead of patching up" - @SenEaton, August 5th 2016
The Senator then went on to target the cyclists themselves with a tweet that sarcastically referenced how much taxes they pay:
"Keep forgetting cyclists pay lots of road taxes, so why worry about cars and pedestrians" - @SenEaton, August 5th 2016
But Then She Stopped... Right?
I wish for Sen. Eaton's sake I could say she stopped after receiving significant online criticism for her comments, but as we have seen before she's a slow learner when it comes to social media.
After letting the dust settle on her initial posts, Sen. Eaton decided to take another stab at expressing her feelings on bike lanes. After just a few weeks, the Senator posted several new tweets that called bicycles a "luxury" and said: "Never seen a bike rider obey traffic laws. They are special." Yikes...
So Then What Happened?
Well, as one might have expected, Sen. Eaton's comments caused another huge stir on social media and received hundreds of angry responses from people across the country. In fact, the comments are still flooding in tonight as I write this article. However, it appears all the backlash has finally gotten through to the senator. As of Tuesday night the Senator's Twitter account has been deleted. Perhaps the Senator has decided to log off to read public relations 101 or maybe she decided to go out for a relaxing... bike ride? Probably not, but regardless of what she's doing I hope she has learnt a valuable lesson in social media etiquette and has come to understand that what you say online really matters. The public has enough distrust of the Senate already and doesn't need senators that are out of touch with reality. #LifeLessons