The termination of three Toronto firefighters Monday over comments made on social media has sparked anger from their union, which insists the firings do nothing to promote a culture of respect in the city's firehalls.
Toronto Fire Chief Jim Sales said an internal investigation was launched after a media report in August said two firefighters had posted several sexist messages on Twitter.
Those two employees were suspended with pay, but Sales said they have now been let go along with a third firefighter after the probe discovered a "pattern" of inappropriate social media use and public comments that ran afoul of city policies.
"It is not in any way acceptable for city employees and will not be condoned by Toronto Fire Services or the City of Toronto," Sales said of the trio's actions.
"The Toronto public service fosters a corporate culture that sets the highest standard of integrity, professionalism and ethical behaviour. It is our expectation all employees demonstrate and uphold these core values," he said, reading from a prepared statement.
Sales did not divulge information about the third person fired.
The Toronto Professional Fire Fighters' Association said it is "outraged" by the firings, and vowed to fight for the reinstatement of the three firefighters.
In a toughly worded statement, the union questioned what was gained by giving the employees the boot, saying the firings fail to help the department meet its goal of a "diverse and welcoming" workplace.
"These terminations neither address the specific issues that have been raised nor do they promote the alleged objectives of the fire service."
The report said one tweet read: "Reject a woman and she will never let it go. One of the many defects of their kind. Also weak arms."