Saturday, December 12, 2015

Rachel Notley and Alberta's Monstrous Harvest of Hate

When Rachel Notley was elected Premier of Alberta I thought it was a shining moment for that province.

I thought she would be able to make Alberta more than a one-party petrostate, the land of the Con zombies, and the home of the Harperites.

And would finally end its reputation as a haven for religious bigots and violent rednecks.

But sadly that shining picture has darkened, and now some of those rednecks are threatening to assassinate her. 

Numerous Albertans upset over the NDP government's passage of controversial farm-safety legislation have been openly talking online about assassinating Premier Rachel Notley — and the head of the official opposition says it needs to stop.

His comments came in response to numerous Facebook messages posted publicly on Thursday by people apparently upset by the government's approval of Bill 6, which extends occupational health and safety rules and workers compensation coverage to paid farm workers in the province.

And while Brian Jean's call for restraint is all well and good. 

Him and his Wildrose party must share the blame for stirring up emotions, and making people believe that Bill 6 threatens family farms. 

When in fact it doesn't. 

And as Don Braid points out, it was just bullying, threats, raw emotion, and bad behaviour. 

Wildrose MLA Glenn van Dijken from Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock almost came to tears as he described how neighbours swarmed his farm to help after he broke his pelvis. He’s bitterly opposed to Bill 6, partly because he thinks it could destroy that farm spirit. 

And he seems to believe that even though the safety legislation now exempts farm kids, helpful neighbours and, in fact, anyone who does farm work without a wage.

And of course it doesn't help when messages like these:

Are reinforced by cartoons like this one in the MSM...

Which makes it only clear that what's really happening in Alberta, is a right-wing attempt to bring down the Notley government by whatever means necessary. 

But what all Canadians should also be concerned about is how the violent rednecks of this country are coming out of the woodwork.

Ever since since Stephen Harper unleashed the demons of bigotry and extremism
with his Great War on the Niqab...

And as Naheed Nenshi, the mayor of Calgary, has pointed out, encouraged extremists to believe that it was now OK to express their hate openly.

So now anti-Muslim bigotry is everywhere. The CBC has had to close down some of its comment pages to block the hatred directed at indigenous Canadians.

Ezra Levant's hate mongering machine is working overtime.

And in Alberta some rednecks now seem to believe it's OK to threaten to kill the premier and other politicians.

Those politicians on their hate list also include Justin Trudeau, who is also the target of vile and threatening comments. 

And enough is enough. 

We need to do more to crack down on those Cons before their hatred poisons us like it is poisoning the Americans...

And as the political organizer Stephen Carter suggests this would be a good way to start:

Before somebody really does get killed.

Arrest them, bust them, shame them, jail them.

Bury those violent extremists in the same grave as the Con regime...

Before the insanity spreads.

Before Harper's foul legacy comes back to haunt us.

And turns this country into a living nightmare...

Please click here to recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers


  1. Just a note on Ezra.

    Re Trump statement.

    After hearing the whole statement, what do you think?

    Is it really that crazy?

    Well yes, it is totally mad. Ezra is as xenophobic as Trump and what appears to a be a lot of the GOP in the USA.

    It must be terrible to be that afraid to walk down the street.

    1. hi jrkrideau...I must confess I did not watch that video. I merely record that after defending the racist Marie Le Pen, he is now channelling Donald Trump. And leave it to others to decide where he's crazy or desperate, or both.
      What I do know is that he is a foul bigot, and that in a place like Britain he would have been charged and jailed long ago...

  2. Josh, Taylor, Jordan and Nigel's Facebook pages are all intact and easily accessible. Are the authorities taking these threats seriously? One has to wonder. It's exactly this type of sentiment that lead young Justin Bourque to go on his killing spree in Moncton, NB in 2014.

    1. hi Omar...I have no idea why Motley's security detail hasn't acted to charge those cowardly extremists. But the definitely need to do that if only to deter others from doing the same thing. Because it is creating an atmosphere of hare that could cause some deranged person to do something awful. And as I mentioned in my post the same kind of hateful language is being directed at Justin Trudeau, so I fear for both him and Notley....

  3. Let's get this strait. Alberta rednecks want permission to kill their own kids on the farm. Do they not realise this would solve the Alberta redneck problem over time.

    1. hi rumleyfips...I have a lot of sympathy for the plight of family farms. But they are threatened by the rise of agribusiness, not that bill. The farm kids, the neighbours, are not affected, to pretend otherwise is simply madness. And if those farms can afford to hire paid workers, then those workers have the right to be protected, as any other workers are in this country...

  4. These are the kind of folks (right wing authoritarians) that don't go quietly in the night.

    "In a study by Altemeyer, 68 authoritarians played a three-hour simulation of the Earth's future entitled the Global change game. Unlike a comparison game played by individuals with low RWA scores, which resulted in world peace and widespread international cooperation, the simulation by authoritarians became highly militarized and eventually entered the stage of nuclear war. By the end of the high RWA game, the entire population of the earth was declared dead."

    How's Farmer Brown going to stay on the farm after 45 years of almost absolute power?

    1. hi Dan...I understand that many people in Alberta are suffering because of the collapsing price of oil. And I am genuinely sympathetic. The fact that suicides in that province are up 30 percent is an absolute tragedy. But I fear that many are just looking for scapegoats, and blaming Motley for the collapse of the oil industry and anything else they can find to attack her. But with the place in that kind of psychological state, any kind of violent talk can only lead to a very bad place...

    2. I agree. The people that are suffering don't deserve it and those that should aren't.

      It's not like Oil hasn't collapsed before. Instead of looking within a lot of folks (including Harper) blamed Trudeau and his NEP. I'm not saying it didn't have an effect, but I suspect that the collapse of oil around the globe in the mid 80s was even bigger one. Once in a while my western Canadian friend would start shrieking about Trudeau this and Trudeau that. I said why don't you blame the Saudis (who among others flooded the market with oil at that time)? Then silence.

      Some 30 years later, here we are again. It's now Notley this and Notley that with the odd Trudeau comment thrown in. The Alberta Cons were in charge that entire time. Spent away the "heritage" fund in the 80s/90s. Instead of diversifying the economy of Alberta, they just kept slavishly worshiping big oil in the belief it would just keep rising. And now it all went bust AGAIN.

      If the people of Alberta (especially those really angry Facebook warriors) want someone to blame then look at the Tories who bet everything on oil (and sacrificed everything else on the mantel of unregulated free markets) to the detriment of the people of Alberta.

  5. Anonymous1:40 PM

    Thank you Simon for keeping this current. It's very troubling, this and also comments on CBC articles implying vile things about JT and female refugees. One positive suggestion: the mods do get rid of them if they're flagged.

    1. Anonymous5:58 AM

      CBC has outsourced moderation to a company which doesn't actually moderate.

      They need to either link comments to Facebook or Twitter logins, or get rid of comments altogether.

      They would also do well to terminate Rex Murphy as a cost-saving measure.

    2. hi anon 1:40...I understand why the CBC wants to keep its comment boards open, and they do allow Canadians to vent their feelings rather than bottling them up. But if they are going to end up promoting hatred the moderate them ruthlessly or shut them down. I get many vile comments aimed at me and others, and since I am determined to keep this a safe place for people to express their opinions, I don't hesitate to delete them, and they shouldn't either....

    3. hi anon 5:58...I wasn't aware that the CBC had outsourced its moderation, but I suppose with the volume of comments they receive that's not surprising. But yes, they need to find a way to control them or they should get rid of the, As for Rex Murphy he lives practically across the street from me, in the building Mike Harris used to live in when he was Premier, so I know he's a very rich guy. And if a great journalist like Linden MacIntyre can retire early to allow a younger journalist to keep his or her job, so can Murphy...

    4. Anonymous2:14 PM

      Hi anon 5:58 AM,
      "They need to either link comments to Facebook or Twitter logins, or get rid of comments altogether."
      Not all of us are on either FB or Twitter. I'm one who is not. So I wouldn't "like" that idea!:)

      I've noticed that flagging one objectionable comment gets the whole thread deleted. There must be a better way.

  6. Anonymous4:43 PM

    Those making these kind of threats against anyone should be investigated as a terrorist.
    Oh yeah, that's right. These guys are probably white Bible thumping morons, so they're just going to be labeled as 'imbalanced with their prescriptions'. They have to be brown, carrying a copy of the Koran and a planted Syrian passport before they're a 'terrorist'.

    1. hi anon...I agree with you, people who make death threats are terrorists, and there does seem to be a double standard. But as you may know, in the U.S. right-wing extremism is a bigger problem than any other kind, so we need to take action before our country finds itself in the same position...

  7. Anonymous5:28 PM

    Why aren't these lowlife redneck inbreeds arrested??? They are making death threats. Am I missing something here or is it now okay to threaten a premier with death?
    Someone please explain this insanity.

    1. hi JD...I have no idea why the police have not yet taken any action. I understand that either the RCMP or the premier's security detail are investigating. But the sooner they take action the better. Because those kind of comments are only inflaming an already heated situation and it could lead to a horrible tragedy...

  8. They should be arrested for GAWD sake, their threatening to kill the Premier of Alberta. You know Simon, for the first time I'm worried also about our PM being shot.These rightwing nuts are filled with rage and never more so since they lost.

    1. hi Pamela...I agree with you, anybody who makes death threats against anybody should be arrested. And like you I am also very worried about the safety of Justin Trudeau. He loves to wade into crowds, and I love having such a friendly prime minister. But there is a lot of craziness coming from right-wingers these days, and I would recommend that he not be quite that friendly. At least until the rabid Cons out there calm down a bit...

    2. I agree with you both, that death threats against anyone needs to be investigated but I wonder if when it comes from left wing nutcases against Harper is that okay?

  9. Anonymous9:51 PM

    Sad to see that some feel that their only voice is through threats of violence. Occupational health and safety on the family farm is a serious issue with difficult choices. Please don't judge all Albertans and all Canadian farmers on the basis of a few squeaky wheels. Reality is rarely black and white. Hoping those who have made threats of violence toward public servants are quickly dealt with by law enforcement. Bullies can be rapidly deflated, as they are true cowards.

    1. hi I mentioned above I have great sympathy for family farms, and when I was a boy I actually worked on one. And I know how to care for sheep AND shear them, sort of. ;) So believe me I don't judge most farmers in Alberta or Canada on the basis of what you call a few squeaky wheels. What disappoints me is that so many have been stirred up by the demagoguery of the Wildrose party, When the real threat to the family farm comes from the unlimited expansion of giant corporate farms, which is not a good development. But yes we do need to crack down on those bullies, who I'm pretty sure aren't even farmers, before the situation gets out of hand...

    2. Anonymous1:33 PM

      Hi Simon,
      Yes, I think we are in agreement on this. Getting rid of quotas and increasing factory farming at the expense of the environment was the tru Harper agenda. It saddens me to see what Alberta has become. I have roots there on both sides, and the extreme right (terrorism when it involves threats of violence) is just sickening. This is not what built the farms and railroad. Painting everyone with the same brush is probably what the cons want from us. No intellectual thought or compassion, just hate and greed, that is the extreme right that the world is facing.

      As you pointed out a few times, the election result is really just the start for us. We have to reclaim what is ours. As cheesy as that may sound.

      Thank you again for your blog!

  10. Anonymous5:01 PM

    I'm from Alberta and would like to thank you for informing me of the redneck problem and to think I have lived here my whole life oblivious to the Violent rednecks that have apparently been threatening my very existence. As we are apparently alerting people to potential dangers quickly let everyone know that their is a large group of people in Ontario that are lazy and quirky they are quick to judge any thing they don't understand , are very arrogant elect crack smoking mayors that hang out with criminals and are generally self serving . That is the misinformed opinion many Westerners have Ontarian's. Generally speaking Albertand give two craps who their premiere is and don't own a pitchfork.