Drumheller-Stettler MLA Rick Strankman (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

Well, that certainly didn’t take long!

Mere hours after AlbertaPolitics.ca published its semi-satirical, semi-serious “Jimmy the Geek” Vegas odds piece about the potential for bozo eruptions among the current members of the United Conservative Party Legislative Caucus than, well, some of the bozos erupted.

Maskwacis-Wetaskiwin UCP nomination candidate Sandra Kim and friend (Photo: Facebook).

Yesterday’s AlbertaPolitics.ca post assigned Rick Strankman, MLA for Drumheller-Stettler and, in the estimation of the entirely fictional Vegas odds-maker “Jimmy ‘the Geek’ Porcospino,” “not the sharpest knife in the UCP drawer,” 20-1 odds of finding himself sitting as an Independent in the next year for something he said or did.

It gave Wes Taylor, UCP MLA for Battle River-Wainwright, the same odds, and Deputy Leader Leela Aheer, MLA for Chestermere-Rocky View, remote 500-1 odds of getting into the same kind of trouble

That last assessment suggests “Jimmy” may not know what he was talking about, because all three of of them found themselves in hot water yesterday for publicly endorsing a candidate for the UCP nomination in the Maskwacis-Wetaskiwin Riding who had expressed views that are being characterized as homophobic and Islamophobic in 2015 social media posts.

UCP Deputy Leader Leela Aheer, MLA for Chestermere-Rocky View (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

The UCP trio are probably safe for the time being from the fate of being sent packing to the time-out corner of the Legislature to sit as Independents, but it just goes to show that it’s very hard for the Conservative Opposition party to keep a lid on the kind of attitudes Leader Jason Kenney would very much like the public not hear about while a general election looms.

The candidate for nomination, Sandra Kim, included the observation “I do not support homosexuality or homosexual marriage” in the 2015 Facebook post. She also posted a Facebook meme that mockingly claimed veiled Muslim women are allowed to pass Canadian airport security checks. The Facebook pages, which were posted under a different last name, were removed but, of course, screenshots are forever.

Yesterday’s revelations prompted Deputy Premier Sarah Hoffman, speaking for the NDP Government, to observe, “it definitely seems the UCP is a magnet for extreme views.”

The author’s only in-focus photo of Battle River-Wainwright MLA Wes Taylor … sorry about that, Buddy! (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

The problem for the UCP isn’t really the views of the candidate for nomination – any party can face that sort of problem – so much as the endorsements by incautious caucus members. Mr. Strankman’s and Ms. Aheer’s endorsements appeared on a page of Ms. Kim’s website that has now also disappeared. Mr. Taylor’s appeared on social media.

Last Sunday, Mr. Kenney told supporters celebrating the party’s first anniversary that “those who express hateful views towards entire groups of people are not welcome to run” for his party. This prompted a certain amount of social media commentary expressing surprise the UCP leader would even have to make such an obvious point to his supporters.

Now, it would seem, some of his MLAs who should have known better have lived down to expectations.

Contacted by media, Ms. Kim apologized for giving offence, though not really for what she said. “I also accept that same-sex marriage is the law of the land and is a settled issue,” the Edmonton Journal quoted her as saying.

As for her endorsers, they appear not to have returned calls from media. Well, maybe they’ll pick up the phone today.

Of the three, Mr. Strankman has the longest record for impolitic comments, having in the past gotten in trouble for a “bring your wife’s pie” fundraiser, suggesting climate change is just one of those weather things, and comparing the NDP’s carbon tax to genocide.

This isn’t a full-blown “Lake of Fire” moment for the UCP like the one that sank the Wildrose Party in 2012 … yet. But there’s still plenty of time for that.

The UCP B-Team … they just never seem to disappoint!

Join the Conversation


  1. The weather’s awful, forest fires are contributing untold extra carbon dioxide into the atmosphere which nobody bothers to account for, we have Government of Alberta TV ads running here in Nova Scotia advising us that the Trans Mountain pipeline will not (!) ship extra dilbit but get better prices for it on world markets and that there will be new hospitals and schools because of that for shiny happy cartoon people, the Grinning Simian is taking Ontario back into the early years of the last century on personal whims with less logic than even Trump musters, and out in Alberta the UCP nutbars and anti-everythings-we-have-societally-achieved since WW2 and who also hate anyone who is either not white or “Christian” or barking mad like Nikki Haley and toeing the phobic line for personal gain are happily esconced as members of Kenney’s sssh-we-won’t-let-on-till-we’re-elected-how-warped-we-are fifth columnists expect to get elected next year.

    The sheep are not paying attention and vote these cretins in who will turn around and crap all over them.

    Everything’s upside down and makes little logical sense.

    Turn off the lights. This country’s done.

  2. It’s so unfair. Encourage bigotry to attract political support, but then tell them to put a sock in it. Meanwhile, amidst pouch-piper niceties, seething bigotry steams out of every loose seam. If not spoken, it still has to be smelled and seen to continue soliciting the best and brightest.

    It’s not progressive; rather the call to join the bigot support group aims to shore up a redoubt of the medieval mind. Not the van, but the rear.

    It’s getting bigger by getting smaller, apparently hitting its free-world zenith in the world’s most powerful nation. But it still frets about its dubious hegemonic demotion from the days of sniggering dominance. The retrogression only eventually emphasizes itself—like a bubble: no matter how big it gets, nay, even the bigger it gets, it’s always dancing upon an inevitable burst. The reality, besetment, now permits, in extremis, daily bozo fuselages in the USA, only this time not maintenance-stalking the land but, rather, anticipating the dawn from inside a schiltron bristling with comradery but, for all that, surrounded and moribund. Yet its heart beats strong as long as it hangs together.

    We weren’t quite used to Preston Manning’s edict to dress bigotry up a little more respectably in prep for the return of the gilded age—but we gradually accepted the changing politcal climate. By the time Harper was relegating his foot soldiers to the back benches while promising more gilding come majority, some of the SoCons back there were frustrated enough to walk away from the party to man tiny schiltrons of their own—especially when told their abortion and same-gender marriage hobbyhorses would not be allowed to play with the deer and the antelope after all. How ironic pouch-piped official bigotry in the province of Quebec, one the Reformers’ favourite targets for their own sectarian bigotry, actually held out hope that the Cons might make inroads back into la Belle Provence; but Habitant Humpty never did recover from its great fall at the hands of Manning and Bouchard.

    Yet Manning eventually got debuoyed, Day benighted, the PQ de-podded, Harper unstrung, Prentice fired as Christy pranced her last— not that American Redoubters ever notice anything prescient about Canda. If the trend continues, Kenney might get Trumped, after all.

  3. Oh what a circus! Oh what a show!

    The UCP Big Top Circus appears to have extended its theatrical run by popular demand, owing to the jaw-dropping stupidity of its own MLAs. Watching Jason Kenney come to grips with the number and severity of ongoing UCP bozo eruptions is akin to Kenney trying to herd cats. Kenney can dismiss these constant UCP political blunders and stains on the party’s reputation as simply growing pains — but as all of us pretty much know, those pains have been with us since the rise of the hard right and the growth of the Wildrose Party in 2008. Extremism is hard to get rid of — just ask Stephen Harper. He’s also likely to tell you — mergers are a bitch.

    Oh What a Circus:

    1. ” Watching Jason Kenney come to grips with the number and severity of ongoing UCP bozo eruptions is akin to Kenney trying to herd cats.”

      But of all the creatures Kenney chose to herd, he chose to herd cats. Really, he pursued a bozo base, sicced them on his opponents (Sandra Jansen) and is now wondering how to contain them.

  4. Was it almost a week with out a UCP bozo incident? They were doing fairly good there for a while, at least by their standards, but their luck seems to have ended. While the odds maker didn’t get the embarrassing exactly MLA’s right, I will be charitable and say the spirit of the last piece was to point out there were a number of loose cannons in the UCP. I suspect despite her being part of the embarrassment Kenney will not publicly punish UCP Deputy Leader Leela Aheer. There are so few women, the UCP really can’t afford to lose any of them.

    Also, I suspect the most embarrassing person in this chaotic foursome is the candidate for nomination, Sandra Kim She may prove a bit of dilemma for Kenney, he really needs more women candidates and he also really does not want to alienate social conservatives, but she is veering into lake of fire territory. I suspect if there is another potentially viable woman candidate for the area in the wings who is less controversial, Ms. Kim may be gone. If not, her I am sorry if I offended anybody, non apology apology might be sufficient for the UCP crowd, although it would probably help her political career if she could try sound a bit more contrite, while not disavowing her previous views. There is an art to making a non apology sound like an apology that Ms. Kim has obviously not mastered yet. I am sure Mr. Kenney, the career political, will be glad to explain that to her further.

    It has to be a bit worrisome that all these troubling things keep on popping up with UCP MLA’s and candidates for nominations. It seems to be like a volcano that starts erupting, it may be quiet for a bit, but unexpectedly it rumbles ominously again. It also has to be a bit embarrassing for the UCP who made a big point about vetting all their candidates vigorously.

    I realize Mr. Kenney is trying to sell the UCP as something similar to the Reform and PC merger Federally, but I think the ongoing bozo eruptions show it is not quite the same. The PC’s, while Federally not strong, still mostly dominated the political landscape in Eastern Canada, ie. more than half the country, so Harper only had to worry about the other half, or less than half. Kenney, in his eagerness to obliterate the Alberta PC’s, has all those Wildrosers and social conservatives to worry about now and they are way more than half of his not so shiny anymore but still fairly new party.

  5. Why is it offensive to say that she doesn’t agree with gay marriage? Is someone not entitled to their opinion? Where’s the “tolerance” Dave?

    1. Bob, my thoughts exactly. I know the UCP are vetting their candidates to weed out the nut jobs, but this is ridiculous. And Sarah Hoffman’s comment about “extreme views” is absolutely nuts. Yup, if you you don’t support the LGBTQ community, abortion, doctor assisted death, etc. then you are a bigot with extreme views. As for your “tolerance” comment, that does not exist in our world anymore. We are screwed…

  6. You are right these are no where near the lake of fire, what is interesting is the response. Should free individuals be able to hold views that are not considered mainstream? Is it alright to not personally view same sex marriage as okay, but not deny others choice? Who is the judge of what are acceptable thoughts? Those that have their feelings hurt by others expressing opinions need to grow up, I am not responsible for your feelings. Now if those opinions are expressed violently and cause physical harm to another individual then of course that needs to be dealt with appropriately.
    It will be interesting to see the Freedom Conservative response, if any, to this. Are they truly libertarian and believe in libertarian principles or just another so called conservative party. There is after all no greater private property right than the right to do what like with your body. My questions to them went unanswered, Dave maybe your many contacts in the “freedom” movement will answer you….
    Perhaps the real question should be why is the government in the business of regulating marriage in the first place?

  7. With all the heat on all sides of Ms Kim’s comments, perhaps a word from the Parliament of Canada might be in order. In order to implement the inclusion of sexual orientation into the Charter and which we are not discussing here, Parliament legislated terms under which this was to be done. A chief instrument to this effect is the federal CIVIL MARRIAGE ACT to which Canadians might do well to show proper regard, and which affirms as follows:

    “WHEREAS nothing in this Act affects the guarantee of freedom of conscience and religion and, in particular, the freedom of members of religious groups to hold and declare their religious beliefs and the freedom of officials of religious groups to refuse to perform marriages that are not in accordance with their religious beliefs;

    “WHEREAS it is not against the public interest to hold and publicly express diverse views on marriage;

    “3.1 For greater certainty, no person or organization shall be deprived of any benefit, or be subject to any obligation or sanction, under any law of the Parliament of Canada solely by reason of their exercise, in respect of marriage between persons of the same sex, of the freedom of conscience and religion guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms or the expression of their beliefs in respect of marriage as the union of a man and woman to the exclusion of all others based on that guaranteed freedom.”

    From the intolerant hate expressed toward MS Kim, perhaps too many either “don’t know or don’t care” what the law actually says. It is time they did know and care and govern themselves accordingly

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