What a crazy day in Alberta politics Friday March 14, 2014 turned out to be. A day when news that former Alberta Health Services executive Allaudin Merali is suing AHS and Health Minister Fred Horne for $6 Million dollars, which would normally be a huge front page story, is lucky to make it to page 5 in any Alberta paper tomorrow.
What happened today:
Premier Redford continues to be under siege. (not new today but continues to be a hot story)
We had Doug Griffiths, Minister of Service Alberta, Tweeting out subtle tweets on Redford's leadership.
We had a PC riding association President openly call for Redford to resign.
We had another Minister, Thomas Lukaszuk, Tweeting out a defense of Len Webber, the PC MLA who will now sit as an independent and caused quite the fire storm by saying that Redford was "not a nice lady" among other things, and later Lukaszuk Tweeted out a defense of electricians in response to another Minister's comments on national TV. (more on that later)
We had a 'bar fight' among Alberta MLA's.
And to end the day we had news that the Executive Director of the PCAA, Kelley Charlbois, of $400,000 for verbal advice to Gary Mar fame, is no longer in his role with the PC party.
Keep in mind that most of this took place within a 6 hour window! The Alberta advantage exists even in political news I guess as the day seemed to get crazier as it went on with the comments I eluded to earlier by Minister Sandra Jansen topping the crazy with the fire storm they created, and the buried lede that most people missed.
Watch Jansen's comments for yourself here.
Here is the comment that set off the fire storm. Jansen: "I would say right now, you know, if Len had such a problem with what he perceived as bullying, he should perhaps reconsider his decision to step into federal politics. Maybe he should go back to being an electrician."
The backlash was immediate. Twitter lit up with the negative response to what Jensen had said concentrating on what was a shot not only a Len Webber but perceived to be a shot at electricians in general in that somehow the job is in some way lesser than a politicians. It was ugly, but Jansen's electrician comment was not the worst part about what she said.
Yes the electrician comment was stupid, newsworthy, and deserved to be called out, but from the responses/reports that I have seen it seems that everyone was so focused on the electrician bit that we all missed the big story.
Let me explain and have some fun with this at the same time. Lets look at her comment again but this time
lets substitute other people, places etc into the 'blanks' and see if you think the same way about what she said.
Original quote (with underlined areas indicating 'blank' area to insert your choices): I would say right now, you know, if Len had such a problem with what he perceived as bullying, he should perhaps reconsider his decision to step into federal politics. Maybe he should go back to being an electrician.
Go ahead. Give it a try as I did in the following examples:
I would say right now, you know, if your kid had such a problem with what he perceived as bullying, than maybe he should perhaps reconsider going to that school.
If brown people have such a problem with what they perceived as bullying, than maybe they should perhaps reconsider coming to this country and go back to where they came from.
I could go on but I think you get my point.
What an absolutely abhorrent thing for a so called Anti-bullying Minister to say to a victim of bullying. To tell anyone, it doesn't matter who, that if they do not like what they perceive as bullying (what does that mean anyway?) that it is THEY (the victim) who should alter their lives, remove themselves from doing what they want to do, and go do something else if they don't like being bullied. Bullied at work, quit your job. Bullied at school, move schools, etc.
What an utterly ridiculous thing to say.Ever.
I am not in the habit of doing this, because I realize people do make mistakes and I have been known to say some pretty stupid things myself, but the fact that Jansen did say what she did shows that she is clueless and has no idea how to do her job and she needs to immediately apologize, step aside and resign as Minister.