On Feb 25, 2022, Premier Kenney issued a misleading press release setting out his rationale for a Cabinet shuffle. Two cabinet ministers, who should have been (back) benched a long time ago, will swap ministries.
Kaycee Madu will “step aside” from his role as Minister of Justice and Solicitor General to become Minister of Labour and Immigration, while Tyler Shandro (who is currently under investigation by the Law Society) will become Justice Minister and Solicitor General.
Kenney says the switch was triggered by the investigation by retired Justice Adele Kent into Madu’s phone call to Edmonton’s chief of police, Dale McFee, after Madu got a traffic ticket for distracted driving.
Right, let’s see what Justice Kent said.
On the morning of March 10, 2021, a police officer (his name isn’t disclosed so we’ll call him the Cop) observed Madu driving his truck in a school zone. Both of Madu’s hands were on the steering wheel. His left hand was at the 9 o’clock position and his right was on a cellphone at the 3 o’clock position. The screen was facing Madu who was facing right and looking down.
The Cop pulled Madu over and told him he was being cited for a cellphone violation. Madu had three phones: his Legislator’s phone and his Minister’s phone were in his briefcase, his personal phone was in his left breast pocket. He denied using it.
The Cop said Madu was “moderately argumentative” and repeated 3 or 4 times that he was the Minister of Justice. Madu says he only said this once, at the end of their conversation after the Cop had written up the ticket. Madu asked for the Cop’s badge number. The Cop gave it to him and told him it was also on the ticket.
The Cop doesn’t follow politics and didn’t know who Madu was; he later confirmed that Madu was indeed the Justice Minister.
Phone call to the Chief of Police
Madu called Chief McFee at 9:45 a.m. They spoke for 8 minutes. McFee was on vacation and scribbled notes on the back of an envelope.
McFee said there was some small talk, then Madu raised the ticket, talked about the Lethbridge police running unauthorized surveillance on NDP MLA Shannon Phillips and the possibility he’d been racially profiled. (When Justice Kent asked Madu whether he thought he’d been racially profiled. Madu said he couldn’t comment on the Cop’s demeanor).
McFee refused to discuss the ticket, saying Madu had two choices, pay or go to court. Both Madu and McFee said Madu didn’t ask McFee to do anything about the ticket.
Justice Kent asked Madu why he paid the ticket. He said it was better to pay it and forget about it and in hindsight he’d just pay the ticket and wait the appropriate time before calling the Chief “to discuss the ticket.”
Justice Kent made the following findings:
- She accepted that as a Black man who was addressing relations between racialized people and the police, Madu could have questioned whether the traffic stop was motivated by race but said there was nothing to lead a reasonable person to conclude Madu had been racially profiled.
- When Madu identified himself as the minister of justice he was not attempting to intimidate the Cop in order to stop him from issuing a ticket.
- There was no support for Madu’s explanation that he called Chief McFee because he was concerned about being illegally surveilled by the police.
- She accepted that Madu’s reasons to call Chief McFee were in part motivated by the fact he was a Black man and dealing with issues of racism and took that into consideration.
…and here’s where it gets interesting
Based on these findings Justice Kent concluded:
- No, Madu did not interfere with the administration of justice because he did not ask the Chief to do something about the ticket.
- Yes, Madu did attempt to interfere with the administration of justice. “There is a process that the Minister knows well to address questions of police conduct. It does not start with a phone call to the Chief of Police. The very fact that the purpose of the call was to obtain assurance that the police were acting properly rather than going through appropriate channels is an attempt to interfere with the administration of justice.”
- Yes, the phone call created a reasonable perception of an interference with the administration of justice.
Kenney cites findings #1 and #3 in support of the cabinet shuffle. He never acknowledges finding #2, likely because if he admits Madu attempted to interfere with the administration of justice he should be bounced to the back bench or better yet, right out the door. And that would be a sorry end to the only UCP minister elected in Edmonton.
As for the decision to appoint Tyler Shandro to replace Madu as Justice Minister and Solicitor General, Kenney is clearly ignoring Justice Kent’s description of the position.
She said as the “the chief law officer of the province,” that person would be responsible for superintending all matters relating to the administration of justice and must be “held to a higher standard when assessing conduct.”
Shandro is under investigation by the Law Society for numerous complaints about his conduct including the allegation that his conduct brings the reputation of the profession into disrepute. As Rachel Notley recently put it, Shandro is “not really equipped to function in cabinet.”
If Kenney’s decision was truly based on Justice Kent’s report, he would not misrepresent Justice Kent’s findings, pretending it’s just a perception issue when Madu actually attempted to interfere with the administration of justice when he was responsible for the administration of justice.
Furthermore he would not turn a blind eye to the ongoing Law Society investigation into Shandro’s conduct.
But then again, we’re talking about Jason Kenney, the premier who is still under RCMP investigation in relation to claims his campaign used fraud, forgery and bribery to win the UCP leadership race in 2017.
Premier – Under Investigation
Minister of Justice – Under Investigation
Minister of Immigration – Demoted for having attempted to interfere with the Administration of Justice
Just amazing the standards of this government – similar to the gangs of New York.
Now claiming that their fiscal policies brought about their balancing the books. One has to really laugh a bit about it because otherwise with the stress of the pandemic and now war again in Europe and climate Change, we are already seeing people with very high levels of anxiety and hopelessness.
I agree Carlos. The Progressive Conservatives bounced Alison Redford out the door for transgressions that paled in comparison to what we’re seeing here. But as long as Kenney can distract Albertans by taking credit for the royalty roller coaster’s upswing this province will continue to circle the drain.
Poor Jason! Stuck between a rock and a hard place. The only lawyer in his cabinet not to serve as Minister of Injustice is Jason Copping. But he needs him where he is to bust unions in healthcare. What’s a fool to do? And when the Law Society makes its pronouncement, I suspect that Tyler Skidro will not remain unscathed. Indeed, the Minister of Justice should be ethical and held to a higher standard, but no one in the Caucus fits the bill. Very very telling….
Sharon, I agree. Justice Kent’s report included all sorts of interesting information. Apparently Madu told his press secretary Blaise Bohmer about the ticket and that he’d called the Chief. Madu said Bohmer “showed concern” but that was it. This almost made me smile because Bohmer is pretty outspoken on social media and yet it appears this gave him pause.
In some instances, consistency is a desirable trait, in other instances consistency is an undesirable trait. Consistent scoff lawing is not a desirable trait.
Well said Mike. Justice Kent’s report is well worth reading.
In her discussion about #3 whether Madu’s call created the reasonable perception of an interference with the administration of justice she referred to A Book of Judges where they discussed third parties’ attempts to influence judges. She said “Regardless of the source, ministerial, journalistic, or other, all such efforts must, of course, be firmly rejected. This rule is so elementary that it requires no further exposition.” Then turning back to the Madu situation she said “And it is elementary here.” Madu was the chief legal officer in the province, he of all people should have known better.
Thanks for this. I feel like we are watching a really low-budget, sleazy soap opera. The idea of putting some guy who is under investigation by the Law Society into the position of Justice Minister would be guffaw-worthy if it were not such a mockery of good governance and due process.
You’re right aratureis. If we saw this on TV we’d say nah, it’s too far fetched to be believable. And yet, here we are.
Susan: Thanks for another great blog. Despite the fact that the UCP are as dishonest and underhanded as they come, there are Albertans who think that the UCP are a great government. They go and point fingers at other governments, and turn a blind eye to what happens here in Alberta, which is far worse. Here, the UCP are rearranging the chairs on the Titanic. Kaycee Madu was caught in a distracted driving situation, in a school zone. The colour of his skin has nothing to do with it. Distracted driving harms many people, every year. We have Tyler Shandro, who is an intimidating person, who is also involved with conflicts of interest. Don’t expect the UCP to do anything honest, or right, look after Alberta’s finances properly, or look after our much needed public services, or the well being of Albertans. They don’t care about that. The UCP’s latest budget is a joke. They are claiming the province’s finances are in good shape, and that they have a balanced budget, when that’s clearly not the case at all. The UCP are bragging about higher oil prices, which is only a short term thing, giving them a surplus of slightly over $500 million. What the UCP has blown, or lost money on, far exceeds the $500 million mark. It’s billions and billions of dollars that have been thrown away, on various very costly mistakes. Who are the UCP trying to kid? Notice how when there is a provincial election looming in 2023, or 2024, at the latest, the UCP is funding things that the NDP were going to deal with, and the UCP is doing this after they cut funding to those specific things. A good example is the Red Deer hospital. The UCP’s latest attempt at reopening the province in March, is bound to see the UCP get another version of The Best Summer Ever, with covid. This isn’t logical thinking. Also, we now have a major issue brewing with Russia antagonizing the Ukraine. This isn’t going to help anyone. I do have relatives in the Ukraine, as well as in other Slavic countries, and in other parts of Eastern Europe. If the Ukraine is a target, by Russia, will Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Poland be next? This might cause major problems, especially in human terms, which we don’t need. I’ll share some more music, to help make people happy, in these times. Gary Brooker, the lead vocalist, and piano player, from the British rock band, Procol Harum, passed away on February 19, 2022, at age 76. Here is a Matthew Fisher composition, Repent Walpurgis. Matthew Fisher was a former member of Procol Harum. It was from the very end of May, 1992, when Gary Brooker had his birthday on May 29. It features Procol Harum, with the Greenwood Singers, and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. Gary Brooker is on piano, Geoff Whitehorn is on guitar, Dave Bronze is on bass, Don Snow is on Hammond organ and keyboards, and Mark Brzezicki is on drums. David Hoyt, who was on the original live recording with Procol Harum and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, is conducting the orchestra and choir. I was at both of these concerts, as there were two of them at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium.
Music trivia note: “Walpurgis” was Black Sabbath’s original name for their classic song “War Pigs”, which became the opening track of their seminal second album, “Paranoid”. They changed it after their record label balked at the title for its purported Satanic connotations.
“War Pigs” remains highly relevant today, as Russia presses on with its unprovoked aggression in Ukraine. One of the lyrics goes like this:
“Politicians hide themselves away
They only started the war
Why should they go out to fight?
They leave that role to the poor”
Of course, most of the Russian Army is made up of conscripts; I don’t know if Ukraine’s is.
jerrymacgp: Thanks for this bit of trivia. I was listening to an update on the situation in Ukraine this morning. The speaker, a Ukrainian lawyer who’s staying in the capital, said Ukraine is drafting reservists aged 18-60. In addition 100,000 men and women have joined the Volunteer Army. The Ukrainians are prepared to die for their country.
Dwayne, thanks for the musical clips. Lord knows we need a little diversion given all that’s brewing here and around the world.
Your comments about the budget are well taken. Notwithstanding the fact we have more revenue rolling in this year, we’re falling behind inflation and population growth. Consequently we’re massively underfunding health and education and other public services. The move to privatize surgeries will only make things worse (Saskatchewan tried this and it backfired).
Kenney was never a man of vision or strategy. Things are only going to get worse.
Susan: I thought I’d share some more music to brighten people’s days. This is Procol Harum live with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, doing the Gary Brooker and Keith Reid composition, A Salty Dog. This was recorded on November 18, 1971, at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium. The album was released in May, of 1972. This album was recorded after guitarist Robin Trower left the band in 1971, to pursue a lengthy and very prolific solo career. Robin Trower would make a brief return back to Procol Harum, in 1991, with the album, The Prodigal Stranger. Organist, Matthew Fisher, who left Procol Harum in 1969, was also on the album The Prodigal Stranger. In this lineup we have Gary Brooker on piano and vocals, BJ Wilson on drums, Alan Cartwright on bass guitar, Dave Ball on guitar, and Chris Copping on organ and harpischord. Chris Copping is the only surviving member of this particular Procol Harum lineup. Until we can see live music, we have things like this to enjoy. Calgary had Festival Express, (Woodstock on wheels), come through that city, in 1970. Edmonton had Procol Harum record this live album with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. This is what put Edmonton on the map.
Susan: This is my final song offering. It is very fitting for these times we are in, as it was fitting back in 1963, when the album was recorded and released. It is a Bob Dylan composition, Blowin’ In The Wind. I have this in my music collection, (as well as the Procol Harum album they recorded live with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra). Bob Dylan was only 21 when he wrote this song, and he would turn 22, in May of 1963.The late Suzie Rotolo, (one of Bob Dylan’s past girlfriends), is on the album cover with Bob Dylan. If there was a list of the greatest albums of the 1960s, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan would have to be on top of that list. This album, even with the cover photograph and the songs, showed the world that the 1950s were over, and the 1960s had arrived. I also saw Bob Dylan live, in 1990.
Dwayne, Blowing in the Wind. Beautiful.
And another excellent post:) Minister Shandro is at the very least someone who behaves as a bully. He confronted a doctor (whom he apparently is personally acquainted with) at the doctor’s home because said physician is alleged to have commented on the inappropriateness of Shandro & spouse owing a health services company. A report regarding delisting various health services – a report which Shandro would make the call on – just happened to include services that – surprise! – might be offered by the company owned by Shandro & spouse. Shandro defended his actions of going to the doctor’s personal residence & verbally engaging him (&, apparently, the doctor’s spouse) as ‘defending his wife’. Myself, I call it bullying & trying to intimidate anyone who questioned the highly questionable situation where a minister who stood to gain financially & whose family stood to gain financially made the call as to whether certain health services should be delisted. Shandro also apparently got someone at AHS to provide him with the personal phone number of another physician. Presumably Shandro called said physician, since that call is apparently the reason for at least one of the complaints the Law Society is investigating. Funny how the man being investigated is now the Minister for Justice….. Nothing to see here folks. No conflict, no reason for concern. Uh-huh.
As for Minister Madu, while there is no doubt that racial profiling & racism exists I think his mentioning he was the Minister for Justice to the officer who pulled him over & calling the Chief of Police is a pretty clear indication he was angling to use his position to his benefit. I’d add pulling the race card to defend his actions but not following through on an official complaint is highly suspect. IF there was clear indications that the officer had acted inappropriately there would be little reason for the Minister not to have made such a complaint. So why didn’t he? Could it be because the officer did not act in a manner that would support such a claim?
When the former PC government was voted out, it was in part due to exasperation by voters over egregious & repetitive abuses of power by the reigning party. A growing stench of corruption. I’d say the UCP has embraced that stench more than a little. Kenney’s leadership has done nothing to banish it – in fact, I’d say his actions or lack thereof have supported it. A quote attributed to Cornelius Vanderbilt ‘The people? To hell with the people! Ain’t I got the power?’ in my opinion is a fair summary of how the UCP views the voters of Alberta.
As Shakespeare would say: «There is something rotten in Alberta »
Linda, I loved that quote by Cornelius Vanderbilt. It says it all!
In the end it’s always been about power. Kenney won the leadership campaigning on merging the PCs and the WR because that was the only way to beat the NDP. Then when he came into government he still took up a lot of air time berating the NDP, almost as if he’d forgotten that he’d won the election.
Kenney is a man of so little imagination he pulls his policies from the past and the Harper play book. But the world has changed, Kenney doesn’t have what it take to move this province ahead.
The quote was paraphrased. The actual quote attributed to Cornelius is even more relevant. “What do I care about law? A’int I got the power?”
Linda, even better.
Then there is the investigation into the Lethbridge Police that Kaycee Madu had started on behalf of Shannon Phillips.
Ah the UCP, what a sh’show
I wonder where that will go now, with T.Shandro at the helm? With this ‘shuffle’ the absurd irony of his position didn’t go away, it just switched gears from health care to justice; Alanis Morisette should write a song about it.
GoinFawr, I don’t think Kenney understand or respects the position of Justice Minister/Solicitor General. If he did he would not have appointed Shandro to the position. As a recent ABlawg post pointed out “[Kenney] should not have put the Law Society, a statutory body, in this invidious position and, in the circumstances, Minister Shandro should have declined the appointment.” https://ablawg.ca/2022/02/28/former-minister-of-justice-attempted-to-interfere-with-the-administration-of-justice-kent-report/
The UCP Shumka Show was of course our Vlodomir Zelenskyy in diapers, trying to show is full displeasure by banning Vodka but the real stuff that really matters as the Russian hands in our oil sands is not even mentioned but David made sure this was known
Jason Kenney just never ever surprises – it is always crap
The UCP legislated AimCo as the sole manager of all public pension funds in Alberta. They did this AFTER the billion $ debacle, as the Local Authorities Pension Plan (LAPP) was supposed to be able to switch fund managers within 5 years of finally getting governance of the plan. AimCo’s performance had been lackluster at best; outright incompetent at worst (hence the billions lost). Yet the UCP saw fit to legislate matters so that public pensions were forced to use AimCo regardless of how poorly they perform. Yet another black mark. Yes, my pension plan is LAPP. You can imagine the lack of joy at being forced to keep AimCo by plan members. The teacher’s were being made to use them too, though maybe that got canned. For sure the teacher’s did not want AimCo!
Carlos, David makes an excellent point here, but as we’ve so often seen with Kenney he appears to be more interested in being seen to be doing something, than actually doing something. Let’s face it, removing Russian vodka from the liquor shelves didn’t cost the Alberta government anything whereas getting between pipeline companies and their suppliers and adjusting AIMCO’s investment policy would take backbone.
Susan: What are your thoughts on this?
I noticed today that oil prices are now at slightly over $105 per barrel. That’s a first in 8 years. The UCP will have more to brag about, with that.
Mr. Kenney was clever and resourceful enough to find a good conservative judge that he hoped would be sympathetic. However, much like Steve Allan’s inquiry, these good conservatives have some degree of independence and integrity. Justice Kent did not just regurgitate Kenney’s talking points. So, of course Kenney, like with the Allan inquiry, just totally ignored all the inconvenient parts that did not fit his narrative. Makes one wonder what the point of having investigations or inquiries is anyways. I suppose it gives Kenney the chance to cherry pick the parts he wants.
I was sure from the beginning that Kenney would not get rid of Madu. I suspect Kenney was hoping for a report that would somehow allow him to keep Madu as Justice MInister, so in that regards his clever manipulations failed. However, Madu is the only UCP MLA in Edmonton, so he has great job security. He could probably to paraphrase a saying – shoot someone on Jasper Avenue, and still remain in cabinet.
A local newspaper recently ran an editorial saying that Madu should resign. I don’t disagree with that, but really the ethical problems in this government are bigger than that and go right to the top of the UCP. He is not the only one who should resign.
Dave, it’s even worse than you thought. This article from CBC explains why Kenney should not have made Shandro justice minister—he’s under investigation by the Law Society of Alberta.
(Procedural footnote: why is it wrong for the Alberta Teachers Association to act as disciplinary body for its members, but OK for the Law Society of Alberta to do exactly the same thing? After the embarrassment of being caught out this way, will Kenney set up a separate review panel for lawyers, too?)
Shandro and Madu both should have been kicked out of cabinet. Their presence shows two things about the UCP government. 1) Kenney looks for loyal subjects, not competent ministers. 2) The UCP talent pool is very shallow, and full of weeds.
The Law Society of Alberta is the regulator of the legal profession. The ATA is a triple-mandate organization: it’s the regulatory body for the teaching profession … it’s the professional association for K-12 educators … and it’s the labour union for public & separatel school teachers. It’s that triple-mandate that is drawing fire from government.
Mike, if Kenney kicked out the misbehaving UCP MLA’s he might actually end up as the official opposition. Besides Madu & Shandro’s antics, there are the ‘rebel’ rural MLA’s who negotiated with the trucker blockade at Coutt’s behind Kenney’s back; the 2 MLA’s who actually participated in the protest; the various members who went on vacation during the ‘cancel Christmas with your family’ phase of Covid lockdowns; the MLA’s who signed the letter questioning Kenney’s leadership (hence the review) & so forth. He isn’t leading so much as stumbling from one disaster to the next. The only bright spot right now is the soaring price of oil/gas & the subsequent ‘balancing’ of the budget – just in time for Kenney to send $ to various locales so as to make the UCP look like the party of choice come the next election. Now, if only that pesky pathogen Covid doesn’t crash the party again……
Jerrymacgp, thanks for the clarification. It seems to me the ATA has been a target for Conservative ire since Lougheed’s days were done. I suspect even Kenney & the Klowns aren’t dumb enough to take on the Law Society on its own turf—especially since so many politicians are lawyers. The ATA is a much softer target, and Albertans are predisposed to hate unions, anyway.
Linda, you’re correct about the political risk to Kenney if he actually managed to eject any more MLAs from the UCP caucus. Don’t the rules say a minimum of four MLAs can form a “party”? I remember speculation to that effect when Drew Barnes and Todd Loewen were expelled. Also, Kenney had to argue for seven hours to get the vote he wanted from the caucus. I can’t see Kenney being able to do that again, with the bad feeling coming from within “his” party.
Dwayne, very interesting. The article says if Iran is able to make a nuclear deal prices could drop by 5 to 10% in the short and medium term and then bounce back up again. This highlights yet again how important it is for Alberta to diversify its economy. The government’s ability to provide the public services we require can’t continue to yo-yo up and down with the price of oil. This leaves us much too vulnerable to global events over which we have no control.
Dave I agree that Kenney hoped to deflect the flack the Madu phone call attracted by asking Justice Kent to look into it. (That way Kenney was seen to be doing something). However, Justice Kent did her job. She reviewed the facts objectively and applied solid legal principles to arrive at her conclusions. That left Kenney between a rock and a hard place. When Kenney conveniently forgot to mention Justice Kent’s second finding (that Madu really did attempt to interfere with the administration of justice) he showed us that (a) he doesn’t care about the rule of law, or (b) he doesn’t know what the rule of law is. The people of Alberta expect and deserve better than this.
Thanks for another great blog, Susan.
I am sure you will be writing soon about Kenney’s recent attempt to lessen the jurisdictional powers of municipalities by making changes to the Municipal Government Act. When I saw this in the news I couldn’t help immediately thinking about the former Republican Governor of Michigan Rick Synder (2011 – 2019) who enacted the “Emergency Manager Law” and its role in the Flint Michigan water crisis. At the time, this law prevented local politicians in Flint to have any say on how they managed their water supply and water treatment which of course ended up being a disaster.
How is it that Jason Kenney’s voters are suddenly okay with such Statist overreaches that would be more at home in the former Soviet Union? This should be ringing alarms bells to everyone regardless of who they think should be in power in Alberta. The hypocrisy is stunning from Mr. “The Feds can’t tell us how to run our province”. What happened to the idea of small decentralized government that these folks supposedly believe in with religious fervour?
These people believe in one thing and one thing alone – bullying power when exercised by themselves. The freedom they are talking about is their freedom not the public’s.
They believe in their freedom to decide for us.
Fascism is their real objective.
Carlos: The UCP want to have as much power and control as they can. They don’t care who they harm. If they get another 4 years in power, that will be the last straw for many. It’s repulsive, really. Very sickening.
You are right Dwayne it is very repulsive – that is what feels to me as well
Don, I’ve been thinking about Kenney’s most recent attack on municipalities. He appears to believe that just because municipalities are creations of provincial statute he can treat them anyway he likes. Remember when he campaigned on strengthening policing in rural communities. The rural communities loved it. He sent Schweitzer and later Madu on a rural community tour to get the communities’ input into what they needed, then he announced he was giving them more police, just like they asked for. But there was a catch, the rural communities had to PAY for the additional police resources and couldn’t refuse to accept them once they found out how high the tab would be. Hmmm. Makes me think this little item was not covered in the community tour by either Schweitzer or Madu.
That was bad, but this is worse because it contradicts what Kenney and others in his caucus said all the way through covid, which was let the communities decide these rules for themselves,
As you said, the idea of small decentralized government is applied only when convenient.
Their cousins in the South are going bananas and this article is a good reading for those who enjoy politics and especially Democracy
Talk about dangerous people – this is the raw US in action and how they give themselves the right to discuss other countries as a police sate except somehow we always dismiss it.
Not sure why but certainly would like to understand why American presidents insult our prime minister openly in different ways and even Senators give themselves the right to say stuff like this to us and to the world. Nothing stays locally anymore. I will leave it so that you read it all because it is interesting.
It gives a good perspective of people like Jason Kenney operate. This is the same senator that send Christmas Cards with her and her 3 or 4 kids each with a weapon.
Thanks Carlos! Steve Burgess was just what I needed right now.
Reading some articles this week I found this one very disturbing. I knew that Chrystia Freeland was very close to the Ukraine but this is the details we rarely see. Many times, it is the details that explain to us why some events happen the way they do.
It is published in Canadian Dimension and so I assume this is real factual information.
I’ll take Ms.Freeland’s side on this one, it does seem like a picture is being painted.
Judging by her actions: she’s been in office awhile now and I have not seen any legislation that could be considered genocidal introduced by her, have you? I admit, there are many other things I wish she WOULD do that she hasn’t done, but I am not aware of any specific pushes from her office to annihilate folk..
Could it be that Ms.Freeland’s understanding is that this flag has nothing to do with fascism? It seems a fairly obscure reference, I confess until now I wouldn’t have recognized the flag as such.
” Natalia Khanenko-Friesen, director of the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, confirmed to the National Post that the colours represent blood and soil, but reassures the reader that it’s not the fascist kind. “Blood as life, as blossom, and not as blood lost in battles”
Per Anders Rudling, ‘a Swedish born’ University of Alberta Ph.D. seems to have a different opinion
This is a reply to GoinFawr that I could not post as a reply
No of course I am not judging any of her actions. I think Chrystia Freeland has been quite a good minister. I am just saying that I found this quite different than what I had read about it before. It is not just the flag, the article is clear on other disturbing connections.
‘The accusation of Russian disinformation was also used when it was revealed in 2017 that Freeland’s grandfather, Michael Chomiak, whom she has repeatedly cited as an inspiration, was the editor of Krakivs’ki visti, a Nazi newspaper in Krakow.’
According to the article, Freeland has never faced this question directly. I find that disturbing.
I do not claim to know the true facts but they seem to be obvious to me unless denied.
I am questioning it not accusing her of anything.
‘Freeland, who had the Ukrainian Canadian Congress respond to a request for comment from her office on the scarf incident, has never faced this aggressive line of questioning from media outlets interrogating her ties to hardline Ukrainian nationalists.’
Send her office a letter then, ask her about it yourself.
I have, regarding Canada’s relationship regarding Saudi Arabia, and IMO there was a response that was beyond a form letter ( yes, I’m still waiting for more palpable action)
Personally, it gets my goat the way these postmodern neo-fascists take such pains to appropriate all symbols, ruining them for everyone else. Eg. I used to think skull symbols were devil may care macabre-cool. No more. Right wing loonies ruined that.
GoinFawr: good point re: neo-fascists appropriating symbols and ruining them for everyone else. The Canadian flag comes to mind. Now what’s this about skull symbols? Did I miss something somewhere?
Susan, the recent abuse of the dear old Maple Leaf did cross my mind, but I didn’t want to give anyone the satisfaction of it being mentioned, and I worry that giving examples for skull symbols will have the same ignoble effect. There are many though.
Pingback: A Traffic Ticket and a Phone Call | Traffic Ticket Fairy