Danielle Smith has announced UCP candidate Jennifer Johnson will not sit as a member of the party’s caucus in the legislature if she were to win the Lacombe-Ponoka riding in the upcoming provincial election.
“The UCP candidate for Lacombe-Ponoka, Jennifer Johnson, used offensive language and a vile analogy when speaking about the 2SLGBTQIA+ community for which she has apologized,” UCP leader Danielle Smith said in a press release on Thursday.
“Elected officials have a responsibility to represent all communities. Although there are certainly legitimate policy discussions to be had on youth transgender issues, the language used by Ms. Johnson regarding children identifying as transgender is simply unacceptable and does not reflect the values of our party or province.”
In September 2022, before she won the UCP nomination, Johnson compared transgender children in schools to having feces in food.
Smith said she has informed Johnson that should she win her seat, she will not sit as a member of the United Conservative caucus in the Legislature.
“I strongly encourage Ms. Johnson to meet with parents, students, teachers, and members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community to learn, grow and inform herself about these issues and how to discuss them with dignity and in a manner respectful to all involved,” Smith said.
“I encourage all candidates from all parties not to use this or any other election to provoke distrust, anxiety and hate between people for political purposes. It is time to move forward.”
On Wednesday, Alberta’s NDP called on Smith to take action and discipline Johnson.
Audio recently surfaced from Johnson speaking to the Western Unity Group in Stettler. While speaking, she said Alberta’s education system ranks among the highest in the world for achievement, but such accomplishments mean little when set against the issue of transgender students in schools.
“These kids who are identifying as cats — and a teacher puts a litter box in the classroom for them,” Johnson tells the audience.
She says girls are saying they’re not girls anymore “when they’re seven years old and transitioning at 14 years old and getting mastectomies, double mastectomies and getting chemically sterilized when they can’t even go to a liquor store and buy a beer.”
She compared the situation to baking a batch of cookies laced with a drop of feces to explain whether the food has any appeal.
“We can be top three per cent but that little bit of poop is what wrecks it,” says Johnson on the audio.
“This is more than a teaspoon of poop in the cookie batch, right?
“It does not matter that we’re in the top three per cent in the world. Who cares if they got an 89 in Chemistry 30? Who cares that they are entering post-secondary if they are chemically castrated?”
—With files from The Canadian Press