By Emma Viets
(CNN) — A mayor in southwestern Ontario may have overstepped his authority when he shared comments from a website about an alleged woman’s inability to have periods because of her vaccination with the flu shot.
Brian Hurst, mayor of the city of Elliot Lake, posted a message Friday on his personal Facebook page, which has now been removed, including: “Can’t believe the rude comments about the woman who said she was unable to have periods/periods because of her COVID-19 flu shot.”
Hurst’s post linked to a post on a local online forum. In it, a young woman says she has suffered for years after being diagnosed with retrograde menstruation. It’s a condition that includes “female body odour, untidy dress and abdominal discomfort with periods that do not go on for about 4 to 8 weeks,” the post reads.
Hurst asked on Facebook who the woman is. One user replied, “Garret Schur.” The mayor then asked her name, then told her to tweet at him if she had the opportunity.
The mayor’s comments came after a visit to the Pacific Rim Gazette, a local online newspaper, last week, said the National Post, which first reported on Hurst’s post.
“My stomach is churning,” Richard White, manager of IT Operations for a local police force, told CNN.
White told CNN he found Hurst’s actions troubling.
“It’s a high school kid who posts something online and doesn’t realize how disturbing his own words are for a woman,” White said. “To go on a local government page and to have some kind of message, it’s just very alarming.”
To read Hurst’s full post, click here.
It isn’t the first time Hurst has come under fire.
In 2015, he posted a statement from Canada’s national agency on the autism spectrum, Autism Ontario, on his Facebook page claiming it funded individuals with IQ scores of 66 or below, the Post reported. The post was taken down after it was met with criticism, the Post reported.
Calls for his resignation
In a statement Monday evening, Hurst’s post had since been deleted, but a copy of it was forwarded to CNN by BuzzFeed.
“Since the Facebook post has received attention there is an ongoing probe by the city of Elliot Lake with respect to my representation of their Facebook page,” Hurst said in the statement. “I am co-operating fully with the investigation. Out of respect for the privacy of individuals involved, it would be inappropriate to comment any further at this time.”
Elliot Lake is located in Haliburton, Ontario, about 25 miles northeast of Toronto.
“Based on our evaluation, I don’t think Mr. Hurst knew about the investigation that had been launched and the risk it poses to his resignation,” said Dawn Grisale, the city’s manager of integrity and ethics.
“I will be recommending that he be removed from his role as Mayor,” said Joanna Cannon, Elliot Lake city council member, in a statement to CNN. “I will be supporting that motion and voting in favor of it.”
The city has asked the Citizen Media Complaints Commission of Canada to look into the matter, Grisale said. The commission will decide whether to take action, she said.
Hurst could not be reached by CNN for comment.
Elliot Lake will get a new mayor and city council members on November 20, after city council members were elected to new terms in October.