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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Jason Kenney Doubles Down on Outing Gay Students

I believe last time ARC mentioned Jason Kenney on the blog was in relation to a story about Andrew Benson and his then friendship with a supporter of Mr. Kenney's Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta aspirations. As everyone knows Kenney went on to win the leadership of the moribund party on a platform of uniting with the Wildrose Party then in opposition to the governing NDP.

Now he's running to lead the newly formed United Conservative Party and, using similar methods that won him leadership of the PCs, seems likely to become the new party's leader. Many of those methods have been described as of questionable ethics. He's also running in large part on an overtly social conservative platform attacking the provincial education system currently undergoing a curriculum redesign which is sort of a page right out of the American culture war playbook. Perhaps his most controversial proposal, and of special interest to ARC, would basically out LGBTQ youths who wished to join a GSA in their schools:

Kenney has been traveling around the province giving speeches in urban, suburban, and rural
communities. On Sunday he was in the small city of Strathmore where he gave a speech that was full of conservative raw meat; impugning the intelligence of the current prime minister, referring to the NDP government at an, "accidental socialist government," attacking the curriculum redesign and the Alberta Teachers' Association which he refers to simply as a "union," promising to shut off natural gas to British Columbia if the province gets in the way of Alberta oil pipelines, stopping further increases to the provinces minimum wage, taking pot shots at Quebec, and of course focusing on LGBTQ issues and once again promising that students who join GSAs would be outed to their parents under a Jason Kenney regime. Kenney uses half-truths and clipped quotes taken out of context, however he wishes to be a "facts" premier.

By coincidence, I was able to find a video of the speech followed by Q and A on Facebook posted by a Kenney supporter. I will post the entire video at the end however here are a few clips that I considered significant (I'll continue to update the article with clips as they are added):

1. Kenney comments on the changes to the Alberta K - 12 curriculum implying the NDP is using the process as a means of indoctrinating children into icky socialism:

2. He then comments on gender being taught in the class room, gets a lot wrong when discussing the ATA's PRISM guidelines, and goes on to confirm that parents would be informed about what is going on regarding any discussion of human sexuality, including students who join GSAs:

3. Discusses his heroic role in unifying the right. He first describes winning the PC leadership despite the backroom people breaking rules to keep him from winning.... again, a rather awkward thing for him to bring up:
He also compares the unification vote of 95% to numbers that would be found in North Korea, but in a GOOD way:

4. The NDP are described as an "accidental socialist government" that will be "one and done" and that Alberta needs a premier who will defend the province against the attacks by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Kenney humbly submits that he is that person and that he feels he's been preparing for the day all his life. Soooo, I guess suggesting he feels (divine?) providence is leading him to the premiership is Kenney's idea of humble:

5. Time to beat up on Quebec! Also, he plans on changing equalization payments by a Supreme Court challenge. Regarding BC and the difficulties of getting an oil pipeline from the oil sands to the west coast, Kenney suggests he will start charging a toll for natural gas passing through Alberta from BC and that he will turn off the oil currently going into the province: "The mayor of Vancouver says he wants a carbon free Vancouver by 2040. I'm prepared to give him one by 2020.":

By the way, the shoutout to the Peter Lougheed, a man who's memory is still wildly admired and respected in the province? Mr. Kenney should have a word with the jerk who referred to Lougheed's legacy as neo-Stalinist:


6. I didn't get the first part of the speech where he introduced Kenney, but Derek Fildebrandt appears to be acting as a surrogate and at one point talks about "our party." This is of interest in that (a) Fildebrandt's endorsement of Kenney seems very low key which is odd since every other MLA endorsement of Kenney has been accompanied by a press release and (b) Fildebrandt  is not currently a member of the UCP:

Then again....
Anyways, Fildebrandt believes the motto of the UCP should be, "just say no" which is even less inspiring than when Nancy Reagan first started using the phrase in 1982. Kenney tries to save it in the next video.

7. Q and A time! First question relates to Trudeau. Kenney questions Trudeau's intelligence by saying that "if you don't think he's very bright you've over-estimated him." So then a blithering idiot kicked your ass in 2015? That's got to be a bit emasculating Jason. Also, and I'm sure it is completely coincidental, Kenney has with him a number of quotes he attributes to Trudeau that he just happens to have on him that are absolutely not taken out of context and intended to agitate a rural Alberta crowd against a Québécois politician with the name "Trudeau."

What? Cynical? Naw! But what does he mean by, "there will be consequences?":

7. Mostly policy discussion, Kenney lays out an ambitious three month program of which stopping any rise in the provincial minimum wage is a key plank:

8. Ah, back to education. Kenney learns that while it is one thing to deal with the curriculum changes under the NDP government, there has been nefarious indoctrination of students for a long time. But don't worry. Jason will help the good teachers fight the ATA who seems to have been built up in Kenney's mind into some sort of Orwellesque Ministry of Truth:

Those are all the clips I found interesting. The entire video, aside from the start when Mr. Fildebrandt introduces Mr. Kenney, can be found here at ARC's YouTube channel:

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