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Parody site lands man in trouble with city

Unofficially running for Ward 15 has landed a Calgary blogger in hot water with the city.

Unofficially running for Ward 15 has landed a Calgary blogger in hot water with the city.

For the past year, Jeremy Zhao has had a website with a fake Ward 15 aldermanic photo of himself on the official City of Calgary website he used as a template, but Zhao received a hand-delivered cease-and-desist order on Tuesday ordering him to immediately take down the site.

“I believe this is directly interfering with my freedom of speech and I am really surprised and disappointed. I want to fight it really badly, but I just can’t right now,” a dejected Zhao said.

“I just put the site up because I thought it was funny. It was a joke. I never expected to receive a letter like that and it kind of scared me.”

Zhao, a 22-year-old engineering student, fears that if he attempts to fight the order he may have trouble finding a future job, so he plans to remove the site on Monday.

City of Calgary lawyer Allan Cunningham confirmed the city sent the letter and expects the site to be taken down immediately.

“It’s fairly basic, we believe the website is misleading to anyone who looks at it because it’s using the city’s website as a background,” Cunningham said.

 
 
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