Fourteen murals celebrating the 2SLGBTQ+ community were revealed in downtown Red Deer last year. (Contributed photo)

Fourteen murals celebrating the 2SLGBTQ+ community were revealed in downtown Red Deer last year. (Contributed photo)

UCP candidate’s hateful comments cast shadow on important LGBTQ2S+ day

International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia

Hateful, disgusting comments by the UCP’s Lacombe-Ponoka candidate were front and centre on International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia on Wednesday.

A recording from a Western Unity Group meeting held last September recently surfaced in which Jennifer Johnson said transgender youth are being allowed to be chemically castrated and sterilized.

Johnson has since apologized for the comments, saying in a statement she has “nothing but love and compassion for everyone equally and am embarrassed that I have caused hurt in this way. If elected I will seek advice and counsel on how best to communicate my views and discuss these issues meaningfully moving forward.”

Lenny Gallant, Central Alberta Pride Society president, said it’s very disheartening to see false information spread about the LGBTQ2S+ community.

“This is why we, as a society, continue to do the work we do. We try our hardest every day to show the community the truth about the LGBTQ2S+ community. Our truth. We live authentically every day combating this false propaganda,” Gallant said in a statement.

“Society has made many steps forward in the past with their acceptance, but more recently society has made even more steps back. With recent issues both in Canada and the U.S. towards our trans, gender diverse and drag community, we need this day now more than ever,” he said about the international day.

Gallant said the UCP is continuing to embrace a way of thinking to keep the community divided and blinded. The political climate also creates a platform for hate speech and bullying towards others on social media and in real life.


UCP Lacombe-Ponoka candidate Jennifer Johnson faces criticism over transphobic comments

David Shepherd, Alberta NDP candidate for Edmonton-City Centre and health critic, acknowledged that UCP Premier Danielle Smith has been openly supportive of the LGBTQ2S+ community.

“But the premier has said it herself — don’t judge me by what I said, judge me by what I do. So here is the opportunity for Danielle Smith to take action. So far, she has taken none,” Shepherd said.

“We need to see real action taken against a candidate who has promoted disgusting transphobic views.”

He said the fact that Smith and the UCP, on the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, cannot step up to condemn these comments, apologize, or better yet remove Johnson as a candidate, shows they are not fit to govern Alberta and cannot represent the “full diversity of individuals who deserve to be respected and protected.”


Canada adds indecency, abortion offences to list of ‘unjust’ historic convictions

Johnson made the comments while presenting on “The Hazards Of The Public Education System And Homeschooling/Pod Schooling As a Solution.”

She accused teachers of showing elementary children hardcore pornography, called for the elimination of sex education in K to 12 schools, and claimed that children in Alberta schools are identifying as cats (a debunked conspiracy theory that has widely circulated on social media) and that Red Deer’s Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School has litter boxes in washrooms for those students.

In a statement Tuesday, Johnson said she was addressing issues she had heard about in the United States.

But Shepherd said it’s quite clear from recordings that the comments were about Alberta and called Johnson’s response a “disgusting dodge” for unacceptable comments from anyone, let alone someone who aspires to public office.

“Let’s be clear. She literally compared children, transgender children, in schools to putting a scoop of feces in your chocolate cookie batter.”

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