Jen Gerson: The UCP is supposed to win back this conservative province. But it’s becoming clear that more and more Albertans are uneasy with what the party represents
Kenney speaks to the media after the 2019 Alberta Leaders Debate in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday, April 4, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Codie McLachlan)
Since the writ has dropped, I have been slow to write about what has become a clear and malignant “bozo eruption” problem within the United Conservative Party. Other media outlets and columnists are already offering reporting and insight into the numerous examples of UCP candidates who have publicly offered dodgy, racist, or homophobic comments in various fora. UCP leader Jason Kenney appears to have promptly dropped every problematic candidate and nominee to date.
But Jason Kenney’s disastrous interview with radio talk show host Charles Adler on Wednesday night was uncomfortable, and even disturbing to listen to. It warrants dissection.
Kenney’s vow to dump bozos seemed to last only until he found a bozo he couldn’t eject after the deadline to replace him had passed; the leader has decided to stand behind Mark Smith after an extensive sermon was released in which he questioned whether homosexual love was “good love,” obliquely comparing it to pedophilia. MORE
At every turn, First Nations women and children are forced to wait for justice and are denied their basic human rights and access to the same programs and services available to their fathers, brothers and uncles.
As expected, the Assembly of First Nations was first out of the gate offering glowing praise for this Liberal government’s federal budget, followed shortly thereafter by the Metis National Council and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami — the three male-dominated national Aboriginal organizations. Their organizations have seen substantial increases in funding for their political organizations in recent years.
Meanwhile, the Native Women’s Association of Canada — the only political organization representing Indigenous women at the national level — issued its own press release criticizing the government for failing Indigenous women. They accused the federal government of, once again, ignoring the pressing needs of Indigenous women and in so doing, not only hampering reconciliation but breaching their core human rights. NWAC is especially aggrieved about this lack of funding for Indigenous women and families, given the urgent need to address murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls.
The exclusion of Indigenous women and girls as a priority in this federal budget is a glaring example of the ongoing racism and sexism that is so deeply embedded in Canada’s laws, policies, practices and institutions — the very same racism and sexism the Liberal government claims to be against. MORE
In a recent op-ed, Ottawa Citizen columnist Andrew Cohen blames the fallout from the SNC-Lavalin (SNC-L) affair on two women: Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott. According to Cohen, their impulsiveness, disloyalty, and short-sightedness “have put the achievements of the Trudeau government at real risk.”
By tarnishing the Liberal brand, these women have ruined everything.
While searching in earnest for scapegoats, Cohen forgot to mention the real villains in this soap opera.
SNC-L has never really warmed up to the “sunny ways” approach. The company has been debarred for 10 years by the World Bank, forbidden to bid on global projects as a result of high-level corruption in Bangladesh in 2009-2010.
Moreover, SNC-L faces charges of fraud and corruption
in connection with nearly $48 million in payments made to Libyan government officials between 2001-2011. This does not include the $1.95 million
spent on booze, nude dancers, porn stars and sex workers to spoil Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi’s son, Saadi, when he was invited to Canada in 2008 by SNC-L. MORE