CALGARY — Five days after saying a United Conservative candidate who compared transgender students to feces in food could be given a second chance, leader Danielle Smith has repeated the woman wouldn’t sit in caucus if her party forms government.
Questions are being raised again about Jennifer Johnson’s status as a UCP candidate after a social media post Tuesday night by someone from her constituency association suggested she’s still a member in good standing and could enter caucus in the near future.
The Facebook post was deleted and replaced with one from the constituency board that said the message was posted by a volunteer who does not reflect its views.
It says Smith has made it clear that Johnson would not sit in caucus if she’s elected Monday.
Smith was asked about Johnson during a news conference in Calgary and she said her decision is final — despite saying last Friday she believed in redemption and second chances.
Dave Dale, who’s the NDP candidate for Lacombe-Ponoka, says Smith must permanently eject Johnson from the UCP.
“Jennifer Johnson’s bizarre and hateful views have no place in the legislature,” he said in a statement. “As a teacher myself, I can tell you that her comments put vulnerable children in danger. I can’t imagine the hurt for students who are being publicly compared to pieces of excrement.”
Audio surfaced last week from September 2022, before Johnson won the UCP nomination in Lacombe-Ponoka, with several homophobic and transphobic comments.
Johnson has apologized for the remarks, saying she’s embarrassed she caused hurt.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 24, 2023.
The Canadian Press