Alberta, as it’s now likely to be seen from beyond our borders (Image: Victoria Pickering, Creative Commons).

What were they thinking?

If Alberta’s United Conservative Party were a normal Canadian political party, it wouldn’t necessarily have been a bad idea for someone to have the bright idea of asking young women between the ages of 17 and 25 to enter a contest in which there were asked to “imagine how you could strengthen your community and bring about change with a career in politics” in 500 words or less.

Associate Minister of Status of Women Jackie Armstrong-Homeniuk (Photo: Facebook/Jackie Armstrong-Homeniuk).

But seeing as the UCP is a party with a strong social conservative base that must soon contest a general election that will be decided in Calgary, a large Canadian city that is not necessarily all that enamoured of social conservative nostrums, it’s odd that no-one in the UCP strategic brain trust saw the danger in such a scheme.

There was fury in the land last night after the three winning short essays in the Her Vision Inspires contest were published on the Legislative Assembly’s website and the third-place winner turned out to be a screed variously described as misogynistic, sexist, racist, homophobic, fascist, and transphobic, to mention just a few critiques. 

New Democrat Janis Irwin, MLA for Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood and the Opposition party’s critic for women’s and LGBTQ2S+ issues, seems to have been among the first to spot it. No sooner did she tweet about it with screenshots than all three winning “essays” were ripped down from the Legislature’s website

Too late, unfortunately for the UCP, thanks to the Wayback Machine and the magic of screenshots.

NDP Status of Women Critic Janis Irwin (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

The bronze medal winner, as it were – actually, the third-place prize was a $200 gift certificate for the Legislature’s gift shop – began like this, “Women have a unique strength: our ability to give birth.”

I imagine most readers will see where this is headed from here, and I’m not going to spend any time attacking the author, who presumably is a young person who wrote what she sincerely believed. 

The real questions are for her elders, the ones who came up with this brilliant idea, picked a piece that was guaranteed to provoke outrage as a winner, and presumably are quite prepared to let the young author cope with what follows on her own. 

Passages like the suggestion “it is sadly popular nowadays to think that the world would be better off without humans, or that Albertan children are unnecessary as we can import foreigners to replace ourselves, this is a sickly mentality that amounts to a drive for cultural suicide,” evoked comparisons to so-called white replacement theory. 

To write that “to try to promote that women break into careers that men traditionally dominate is not only misguided, but it is harmful,” was guaranteed to provoke anger. Anyone with an ounce of sense should have been able to see that. 

Alberta Speaker Nathan Cooper – so where was he yesterday? (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

The author’s call to reward fecund female citizens with medals for producing two or more babies, prompted comparisons to the Cross of Honour of the German Mother, an idea from that period of German history so dark that we’re not allowed to mention in Alberta political commentary.

You can read all three essays for yourself if you wish here

The contest idea appears partly to have been the brainchild of Associate Status of Women Minister Jackie Armstrong-Homeniuk, the UCP MLA for Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville, acting as as Alberta’s representative to the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians’ Canadian chapter. The judges were a “panel of female members of the Legislative Assembly,” according to a page published in February when the contest was announced. That page has now disappeared.

No NDP members knew anything about the controversial winning essay until it appeared online last night. Former UCP status of women minister Leela Aheer, fired from cabinet last summer and now a candidate to lead the party, said in a tweet that she was not included “for obvious reasons.”

In reaction to media coverage, Ms. Armstrong-Homeniuk published a defensive statement saying, predictably, that “the essay contest was intended to reflect a broad range of opinions from young Alberta women” and that “giving women of all ages a voice is something I will always stand up for.” 

However, she also said “the essay in question should not have been chosen,” a statement at variance with the tone of the rest of her response and an interesting observation for a member of cabinet who was presumably overseeing the project. 

This afternoon, embarrassingly, media coverage was starting to show up in the United States, and it is likely to circle the globe by the morrow. 

Later this afternoon, Ms. Armstrong-Homeniuk published a second statement on social media that said in part, “It’s clear that the process failed, and I apologize for my role in that. The selection of this particular essay and awarding it with third prize was a failure on my part as the head of the judging panel.” (Emphasis added.)

So, while we still don’t know who the judges were, we do know that one of the judges didn’t know what the judges decided. 

Also shockingly inattentive were the officials of the Legislature Office. 

Speaker Nathan Cooper told media that even though the essay somehow got published on his office’s website, he found its contents “abhorrent” and said that as soon as it was brought to his attention (by Ms. Irwin’s tweet?) he had it removed. 

So who is running the Alberta government now, anyway? 

We all know Alberta’s governing party is so busy searching for a replacement for Premier Jason Kenney it has trouble doing its job. But since it will be October before the next leader of the UCP will be chosen, perhaps the party should assign someone to mind the store in the meantime. 

It seems likely that Mr. Kenney, who is well known for his micromanagement skills, might have time available for such a role. 

If he’s not interested, perhaps Ms. Irwin from Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition could take it on for the sake of the province. She seems to be paying attention! 

Join the Conversation

47 Comments

  1. Frankly I don’t believe for a minute that the 3 rd prize essay was written by a 17-25 year old woman. It seem more in tune with far right UCP messaging and was likely concocted by one of the useless comms. individuals, that are predominantly male.

    As for Nathan Cooper’s comment, I think he sees the writing is on the wall for possibly his own job and others, as the UCP lurches from one debacle to the next.

    1. I am sorry to disagree, but having grown up in a home where I was also inundated with the particular views of my parents, I have no trouble believing that the author was indeed a 17 year old – just one that has had some, uh, unique views aired frequently and without challenge around her. If you surround a kid with your particular viewpoints and praise her for parroting them, this is what you get.

    2. You don’t believe it was written by a young woman? What do you think the religious based schools and evangelical churches are producing? Certainly not critical thinkers. Under Klein, home-schoolers had a choice of using the secular public curricula or the “Advanced Christian Education” curricula which is pretty much reflected in that unfortunate young woman’s essay. That secular curriculum is the same curricula which the Kenney Klan is replacing with even more religious and capitalist indoctrination for everyone.
      Take a careful look at the size of their churches. Alberta’s future as a modern society has already been damaged.

    3. I understand where you’re coming from and truly wish you were right. Important idea that I might not be phrasing very well – you know how all humans have that little voice in their head that says ‘you should have done x, you shouldn’t have done y?’ Sort of like your own “inner critic?” There’s real psychology on this but I can’t for the life of me remember a google search string, if anyone can fill the blank there I’d be very grateful. There’s a word for it but I’m blanking and don’t have time for a wiki-walk, sorry 🙁

      Anyways, it’s possible for someone else to colonize that voice, and you hear their words instead of your own. “You should have gone to med school. You shouldn’t have followed your impractical dream.” Does that sound more like you, or your teachers and your parents? “You should have worked harder, longer. You shouldn’t have taken that time off to do that thing you really wanted to do.” Is that you, or your boss? “You should have been chaste. You shouldn’t have gotten that abortion.” Is that you, or your priest? This is, sadly, incredibly common in the West, because IMO most “happy” citizens aren’t “happy” as much as they have “Stockholm Syndrome.”

    4. S. Silver could be real, but more likely this is another one of those “friends” of the premier who turn out to be fictional composites of actual people, and the supposed contest never happened. None of the UCP want to admit to judging it. What a coincidence that “S. Silver” would say exactly what the UCP wanted “her” to say, during their leadership contest no less.

      Where is that premier, anyways? No comment on S. Silver’s wish to pay Alberta women for making babies? Maybe that’s the Alberta recovery plan: putting anyone with a functional uterus to work, catalogued and ranked by price and fecundity. Publish it on the internet, maybe. Pick a price, no offer refused?

  2. We knew it would happen: the people of Twitter have spoken. UCP means “Uterus Control Party”.

    Of course the essay would be 500 words. As in The Bible, 500 is a recurrent theme. 500 staff must move to Athabasca. A staff is a biblical thing, too.

    Our Associate Minister also appointed herself Minister, but should we tell her she reports to the man who is in charge of women? Or did the man step aside to let a woman take a job better-suited for a woman? Remember, there are “pink” jobs for ladies and “blue” jobs for gents. Never the twains shall meet, unless they’re on the same tracks, headed for a collision.

    1. Personally, I would choose the Caramunchies. There is something strange about promoting expensive junk food in order to provide for Edmonton’s hungry. And what about the hungry in Calgary or Bruderheim?

  3. It would be a truly wonderful thing if the essay was revealed to be a piece of satire designed to make the UCP look foolish, but either way they look foolish. So mission accomplished, or not.

  4. This reminds me of the Social Credit Party style of government, that was in power for decades, which Peter Lougheed fought so hard to replace, and successfully did, way back in August of 1971. There are many people who are still alive, and who do recall the Social Credit Party, and their quite backwards thinking, as well as their backwards policies. We have such antiquated thinking in the Reformers and pretend conservatives, that are in political parties like the CPC, and the UCP. Peter Lougheed was one who knew that Reformers can’t be trusted. Ask anyone who was around when the Social Credit Party was around, and they will also likely tell you about the similarities between them and the Reformers. This is pushing Alberta into a negative light, once again. Until people in Alberta take off their blinders and see that the UCP are a bad government, we can only expect more of this.

    1. Anonymous Actually I got to know three of the social credit MLAs and they all had to admit that they agreed with what Peter Lougheed was doing for Albertans . One stated “ How can you be in opposition to Lougheed when you agree with everything he has done”. At least he was honest about it. Not like these Jason Kenney fools who would dream up some stupid comments to put Lougheed down. And In fact one told me that it was because of Lougheed that the social credit party folded.

      1. Remember back in the day when even most of the highly ambitious adults were not willing to intentionally destroy society to further their ambitions? *wistful sigh* I’m barely old enough to remember.

    2. Don’t forget to mention that the Reform movement was founded by Preston Manning, son of long-time Alberta Social Credit premier Ernest Manning. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

  5. Another day another screw up, gee what a surprise. One more thing for their stupid supporters to try to defend. You would think they would have woken up by now but some still haven’t. It’s still some how all Notley and Trudeau’s fault, but they can’t tell you why. Funny how brainwashing works. All mouth and no brains, as a lawyer friend used to say.

    1. Alan K. Spiller: That’s one of the things that these pretend conservatives and Reformers know how to do so well is blame others. They keep on lying so much, that they think it’s the truth. Sadly, their base eats it all up. We don’t see any benefits. This also reminds me of something I read about, which mentioned something that happened before television was around. It was when radio was the source of entertainment. There was some type of broadcast put on air, where space aliens were coming to get the population. There were people who were dumb enough to fall for it, and unfortunately they did. I don’t recall what the broadcast was, but I believe it was aired in the 1930s, or in the early 1940s.

      1. Anonymous: it was an adaptation of H. G. Wells’ novel “The War of the Worlds,” by Orson Welles in (I think) 1938. Apparently, people who missed the first episode (and likely enough, some who heard it) didn’t hear the disclaimer that announced it was a radio play, not a news report.

        1. I think, to be fair, that you can forgive some of those frightened listeners in 1938 for their credulity. Radio then — like the Internet now — was still a relatively new medium, and people then took it very seriously. I’ve heard a recording of that broadcast, and it closely mimics the style and tone of legitimate news broadcasts of the day, so it’s not surprising that many believed it was really happening.

          Any resemblance to modern online “fake news” — like the recent Twitter post of the “New Zealand banana slug” — https://twitter.com/MarkRMullen/status/1556335187197403146?s=20&t=Hp_ASiLZ7gHpgC02MKiPGQ — is purely coincidental ;-). Full disclosure: I kind of fell for that one myself, until I saw the post that the video was fake.

  6. How many times can the UCP shoot themselves in the face? Let me count the ways.

    Now that it appears, based on this weird contest, the UCP’s own Minister for the Status of Women have decided to embrace and promote the belief and White Replacement Theory is a thing. This can only mean 1) they don’t care anymore, or 2) they are doing everything they can to appease Danielle Straitjacket’s effort to make the UCP crazier than ever. (#MUCPCTE…Muck-piece-tee) Judging by the fact that this whole thing has gone viral — that is picked up by other news outlets everywhere — the UCP are doing everything they can to disown what they thought was a fantastic idea.

    Regarding the popular series “The Handmaid’s Tale”, it should be noted that it mere existence is having unintended consequences. The unintended consequences being that Christian-nationalist/white-nationalists in the US have embraced the series as a proof-of-concept for their vision of the world they want. Though I’m certain many of them have never heard of Margret Atwood, nor had read her novel, the visual and powerful TV adaptation of Atwood’s book has whetted their appetites for “Gilead”. A number of alt-right bloggers are saying that the series has given them the inspiration and the blueprint to create this reality. The overturning of Roe v. Wade and the current legal battles breaking out in many US states over women’s reproductive freedom, and its restriction, is raising the political temperature considerably.

    Now that Alberta is beginning to show its true Gilead self, I’m wondering when Smith is going to drop her pro-choice position and embrace the notion that a woman’s uterus is the property of the state. This should be hilarious.

  7. Well that was really weird. This seems like something Social Credit would have done in the 1960’s. Maybe the PC’s were on to something when they were warning us about a decade ago or so that their, at the time kook right wing opponents, were a throw back to the worst of Social Credit times.

    Of course, those PC’s had their own problematic features too, like serious ethical lapses and arrogant entitlement. The UCP really has managed to combine the worst qualities of its predecessors.

    In any event, the whole thing seems to be going amok, now that Kenney is no longer in control and is just going through the motions until the party picks his replacement. Not that Kenney probably would have disagreed with this essays sentiment, but would have been at least politically aware enough to realize how cringe worthy this seems and likely stopped it.

    Well the UCP seems to finally have found something else to talk about other than COVID conspiracies and separatism. As the saying goes, when someone shows you who they are, believe them. We have been shown, ahem warned.

  8. Where did all of these associate ministers appear from? Obviously many of those choices leave a lot to be desired and demonstrates how thin the talent pool in the UCP really is, not to mention the pantheon of stupid ideas.
    No doubt there will be many more goof ups to come before we can get a real government in place.

  9. How can one provincial government be this incompetent? Absolutely blows my mind that the Albertan electorate tolerates the UCP’s disastrous, immoral bungling. When’s the last time anyone in this party scored a goal that wasn’t on themselves? Suggestions for better leaders:
    Some random homeless person – will know more about the economy
    Some random incarcerated person – will have more respect for the rule of law
    Premier Bud – ain’t no rule says a dog can’t be Premier
    Rob Ford’s ghost – would be more grounded in reality
    Pierre Poilievre – morally equal, significantly less incompetent
    A cross eyed pogo stick riding raccoon – will have more gravitas than anyone in the UCP, plus will have innovative ideas about trash disposal!

  10. I find it hilarious how Danielle Smith attracted a huge crowd of only 200 at her rally in Chestamere last night. Want to bet most were seniors being every lie she fed them? Too dumb to realize that her plan could cost them their old age security payments, Canada pension plan payments and their public health care benefits. The seniors in my circle of friends know we have received a lot more in payments than any of us ever paid into them. A population of 38 million is certainly going to be able to provide for us a lot better than 4 billion could.

  11. There is a reason why Alberta has become the laughingstock of Canada.

    It was bad enough with Kenney. Now we have Danielle Smith.

    There is not enough room in the clown car to fit them all in.

    They need a bus. Or two.

    It is an embarrassment.

  12. Highly doubt “Emily”exists ,the author of the submission,the UCP are into “contests”of late and how these contests are presented and victories are layed out are certainly questionable to say the least ,
    Trying to glean dates ,submission information,panel lol,and these strange pop up contests is worth an audit ,where are the rest
    I would define the framework to be limited in access ,so where’s the rest of the submission s ,I repeat these designs are something to ponder ,myself talking to the manipulators gives me depth ,simple questions like “where and who designed such old “funning”narratives
    I am Confident the Minister of status of women is a truth teller ,the willful blindness in this shop is another story ,I travelled this institution before ,we have “funning words “ for these people,we know what they think of women and children and their narratives
    The department of Status of Women has been ran by fascism since the beginning of time ,women,family ,community haters while taunting the label of disguise,to the highest authorities of the land ,to the MPs,Privcy Council,all the same gig
    Then again is it the old up the sleeve trick ,squirrel?Status of women personal like chaos ,another manufactured repeat?us women in rural Alberta say enough
    Reminds me of the Iris Evans contestant times !Regardless a worthy audit if you can get Albertans away from the Trudeau rip off theme ,scheme,

    How was this ridiculous panel chosen ? Are real questions ?
    Exploitation of women and children is nothing new for this savvy institution called “Status of women”!Hate children as I know
    The lunatics have the keys

  13. Who’s running the government? Well, maybe the executive is busy with party things, but the Loyal Opposition seems to be doing its job just fine—and now it has alerted that other part of government, the electorate which is also responding as it should, eliciting reaction from the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and the associate minister who has since taken responsibility for awarding third place in an essay contest to an unabashed wish-list of patented SoCondom dystopia, Redoubter separatism, and dog-whistle bellicosity of the extreme-right. So it’s not all bad.

    But it’s still pretty bad.

    What did they think they were doing? It appears the contest should have been an all-party affair, but that would have disallowed the improper use of the expressly nonpartisan offices of the Speaker and the Legislative Assembly for what appears to be one faction of the UCP caucus firing a shot at the other during its current leadership race; only UCP MLAs sat on the panel of judges (we don’t know who yet). Associate minister Jackie Armstrong-Homeniuk who presided over the judging admitted only that the source of concern about the essay came from her own UCP caucus and cabinet. But the fusillade-cum-fireworks has precipitated much, much wider criticism, rendering her explanation at least as hackneyed as the offence.

    What were they thinking? It appears they weren’t thinking, but probably had in mind some kind of statement of terms in the ongoing battle for control of the party riven between the ProgCon and Wildrose factions, ironically scoring enough hot controversy across the continent to damage the extremist faction’s leadership prospects and the party’s chances of winning the next election, now single-digit months away.

    Jason Kenney should be running the executive until the party leadership convention in October, but the eruption of Mount Bozo—just when erosion of voter-memory had excavated free the fossilized dinosaurs of the Wildrose Badlands, entombed in a fiery lake of lava from a previous eruption—doesn’t look quite like the K-Boy’s reputed micromanagement: he’s either refocusing his campaigning gift onto other prospects, is losing power to control by promoting or demoting caucus members, or both. In any event, the fusiliers have put their Handmaiden sally on display most ham-handedly, blowing their cover in a way that suggests they might not expect to occupy their position much longer, anyway—at least in contingency after what looks like a “Hail Mary” pass from a jittery corner of the UCP caucus.

    Because one of the leadership candidates, former cabinet minister Leela Aheer, was also not apprised of the essay until its spectacular flop, the ideological war raging inside the UCP is the only hole Armstrong-Homeniuk’s peg fits into: if it were a shot over the hunkered Alberta citizenry, the essay is too anachronistic, too retrogressive to persuade a majority of citizens to vote for it. No, this was a misguided missile corkscrewing o’re the war within the UCP, a signal taken down quickly for lack of encryption, but most assuredly received by its intended. However, it’s most inappropriate for any party or faction thereof to abuse the nonpartisan offices of government in order to deploy batteries in partisan psychodrama like this one.

    Naturally the UCP is focusing on itself, distracted from anything beyond the range of ordinance in this most-critical test the party has faced yet. The essay awards’ path was smoothed, its ballistic trajectory perhaps more of an emergency flare than useful battle tactic in the party’s current straits, but relatively unremarkable compared to the more hyperbolic volleys some of the candidates are already lobbing at each other. But the context of the third-rated essay—reproductive recuperation from “sickly minded” replacement of Christian patriarchy by way of foreigner-enforced “suicide” —is of necessity a longterm objective, even farther away than the next UCP crisis, the next general election. In essence, the essay laments the mores of an age long past as if history itself is a victim and its subscribers now so threatened that retreat and recuperation (in order to buy time for baby-factory handmaidens to replenish and subdue the earth) are the only option.

    If it’s already a life-or-death (or “suicide”) situation, then it rather braces subscribers for the possibility of defeat in the general contest, more likely now that the terms of the party’s inborn conflict is deliberated in such maudlin fashion. This is classic redoubterism, replete with notions of return and self-justified vengeance, some day when the slow-poke population bomb supplies sufficient reserve to the front where, fulfilling the manly art of war, they are passed the torch. The only thing missing—but implied—is Mormon-style polygamy in this practical sense.

    The prospect of a UCP defeat very likely presages the breakup of the party along its familiar scar-line. In that event, Redoubters among the extremist faction amplify their narrative—say, half the caucus and party. Where could they go that could quickly accommodate, say, 500-1000 party members and their family members?

    Isn’t there anyplace where god-fearing handmaidens can go to spawn in peace? Someplace like maybe a remote rural town—maybe with, like, an unused university?

    Naw!—couldn’t be. There must be some other goofy reason why the UCP has made an ultimatum to Athabasca U that the university can’t possibly meet and that guarantees its bankruptcy.

    But…you never know with these jokers.

  14. ‘…history so dark that are not allowed to mention it in Alberta political commentary’.

    As did Europeans in the 1920’s and 30’s we seem to pussyfoot around contemporary evil. For readers interested the Cross Of Honor of the German Mother was awarded by Reichsfuhrer-SS Heinrich Himmler’s Lebensborn.

    1. I think our host was making a sardonic reference to “Godwin’s Law”, the Internet “rule” that says the longer an online discussion goes on, the higher the probability that some reference to Hitler or Nazisim will occur. The corollary of that “rule” is that the first person to invoke Hitler or Nazism loses the argument, and that discussion is also deemed to be over.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_law

      1. Reply to jerrymacgp
        No argument was made, won or lost. Godwin’s notion is neither law or rule; it is an unproven, simplistic, and dismissive hypothesis. I am grateful that this blog promotes material for thought and sharing of perspective.

  15. The more things change, the more they stay the same as my Dad used to quote. If I remember correctly, in about 1988, the federal government was planning to sign onto the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The provinces were asked to agree to the Convention, which was available for signature by U N member nations. Every province, except Alberta, agreed to abide by the Convention. Part of the reason that Alberta did not agree was that some groups were concerned that they, as parents, would have less control over their children. This sort of paternalistic thinking still exists, as evidenced by the prize offered to the author of the essay we are discussing. I read the essay, and it appears to me to be earnest, not ironic. After reading David’s op ed, I researched the Cross of Honour of the German Mother created by the German Reich. The highest of the 3 so-called honours was available to women with 8 to 12 children. There were additional requirements for all levels. The value of women, as outlined by the author of the third place essay, is limited indeed. I believe that we as a society need to reject this narrow gender bias about the role of women. It appears that everyone approached seems to disavow any part in the decision to award the third place prize to this essay. How, then, was the award determined and how did it end up on the website where it was published?

    1. My grandmother could have won that award, based on the number of children. Did they give bonuses for multiple sets of twins — fraternal and identical? I’m not sure it would have meant much to her. She was too busy in her one-acre garden, cooking meals from scratch three times a day on the wood stove, and hauling meals to the fields for the men. Then there was the lack of running water, which meant hauling and heating water on the stove to wash clothes in a galvanized bin by hand, hanging them outdoors on a clothesline, even in the winter, heating the iron on the stove to iron them, mending and sewing. Her chores never ended. Maybe she would have preferred a furnace to heat the house instead of coal, running water, etc.

      There’s no going back. Times have changed and there’s nothing romantic about any of that.

  16. I had previously posted my description of Jason Kenney’s UCP as “…dysfunctional, incompetent and embarassing.” I now wish to update this description by adding “incorrigibly” in front of the previous descriptors.

  17. This is just … sad. I’m fairly certain that the essay wasn’t composed by Ms. D. Smith, though. She wouldn’t have been content with third place.

    As for the whereabouts of Yippee-kay-Kenney, he may be in Ottawa applying for the position of Top Gun at the Church of Freedom.

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/united-people-of-canada-st-brigids-security-force-1.6546148

    In his spare time, he could apply some spit-and-polish to the pulpit. You know he loves a pulpit.

  18. So I see, the primary purpose of women is to breed, as per this prize winning essayist. And it must follow therefore men are the breeders. Well that’s pretty graphic and offensive. And this is what an all woman panel chose as amongst the best vision for Alberta women. Didn’t the east block also pass out medals and bonuses for extra children bred? Sorry but this kind of backward garbage is the reason I happily left Alberta for BC in 1998. I have never regretted it. I do hope the NDP wins the next provincial election to return just a bit of normalcy to my former now utterly imbecilic province. But I am filled with doubts that they will win. Some how rural Albertans strike me as just primitive, and are utterly asking to be taken to the cleaners. Uterus Control Party for a snowy white Alberta!

  19. As much as there are those who are convinced this is the work of sheering idiocy and incompetence, I have another take on all this weirdness.

    It’s stupidity by design.

    Of course, the contents of these essays were ridiculed. But they were published, given a platform, and their writers rewarded. The politicians who gave recognition to these excretable tomes can claim that they didn’t know any better. Or, worse, just call these thoughts just another unpopular opinion. Or, as Tucker Carlson would put it, “We’re just asking questions.”

    The problem of course is that these ideas have been given notice and, to varying degrees, they are finding sympathy with those who say are the positions presented in these essays really wrong? After all, as Pat Buchanan once said, “Say what you will, it’s a lot easier to settle and integrate 1,000 Norwegians into North Carolina than it is 1,000 Somalians.” Yeah, Buchanan is a bug-eyed racist, and he doesn’t care what anyone thinks. Some would say and believe that he has the courage to speak truth to power and call out the prevailing belief system as a pile bullshite. It’s these speakers of supposed truth who will cast themselves as the truly brave, the real patriots, and the genuine humanitarians. Or, as a long-depart GOP member of Congress once boasted, “We conservatives are the real intellectuals, the hard scientists, the ones who truly know and understand the ways of the real world. Fantasies need not apply.”

    So, there’s no reason to think that the day was won now that these essays has disappeared from the Internets. Rather, the claim that sunlight is a disinfectant for bad and evil ideas is not true. Sunlight gives life and encouragement to evil and evil ideas. Once something has been let out of Pandora’s Box, it will never be put back in.

  20. I read all three of the essays and I was not impressed with any of them. They reminded me of those beauty contests where the contestants made a five minute speech, gushing about saving the world, or peace on earth.
    Maybe it was the published format but with no paragraphing they just rambled on. The second place essay was more substantial but none of them had original ideas.
    A thought to ponder – Ron Orr is actually the Minister of Culture and Status of Women. Jackie Armstrong-Homeniuk is an Associate Minister of Status of Women. Need I say more?

  21. Canoemamma…I think you’re on track with Ron Orr, just looked him up, and going by where he was “schooled” , goes right with the way of thinking with the essay, another notch in the mixing of church and state belt ..literally & figureatively…and maybe the backing off has something to do with what’s happening with the Legacy school in Saskatchewan.???

  22. Once again wokesters attack free speech & thought and the majority of media reports with all bias and no balance. Diversity of lifestyle, thought and expression are now viscously attacked by the same group who, only a few years ago, demanded these things for themselves. The “tolerant left” chooses character assassination, name calling, and demands for firings and resignations over consideration, discussion, and rational disagreement. They embark on modern-day witch hunts and public executions. When did traditional roles/values become so radical to merits vitriolic rants. If you read the essay without attaching your own narrative, it is none of what’s being claimed. People need to stop screaming racism, sexism, misogyny for every differing opinion – this only diminishes the meaning of these words paramount to “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”. This virtue-signaling single-minded radical left can’t seem to intelligently discuss anything they don’t agree or approve of they only know to oppress, intimidate, and threaten which only demonstrates their closed-minded divisive, intolerant, fascist nature

  23. An interesting and sad irony indeed, wherein so many self-described tolerant and open minded liberals have savagely attacked a human being for having the unmitigated gall to express an opinion that deviates from the myopic and narrow false narrative perpetrated by the sanctimonious Left for generations; namely that women and men are equal in every respect (indeed one and the same gender), and there are no significant cultural differences between peoples from across the globe. Having read the essay in question, it is clear that there is nothing posited that would approach anything close to resembling racism, misogyny or hate speech! On the contrary, and again ironically, the demeaning and disparaging comments hurled toward the young essayist reflect the true nature of the intolerant Left: animosity to anything other than self-evident Groupthink, a complete lack of understanding of the nature of critical thinking, and, quite frankly, represents a fascist approach wherein all dissent must be crushed. To equate ideas in this essay, such as the effect of demographic immigration shifts on Canada to white supremacist theories, or that advocating that the government provide more assistance to families that are raising children resembles NAZI policies, is ludicrous, intellectually dishonest, and shameful. It never ceases to amaze me that those on the Left, who presume to champion human rights, are the most egregious offenders of our fundamental liberties- including in this case the right to free speech. Looking for fascists people? Go look in the mirror.

  24. As an after thought, the real contempt in this issue is reserved for the politicians who, instead of vigorously defending this young lady’s right to express herself, and owning their decision to award her third place standing, decided to collapse in a heap, issue apologies and essentially open her up to abuse and hatred. Shameful cowardice on display. This nation needs leaders to tell the real Fascists to fuck off.

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