New Alberta NDP member Sandra Jansen urges colleagues to fight harassment
WARNING: The following article contains language some readers might find offensive.
EDMONTON – Alberta legislature member Sandra Jansen is urging her colleagues to fight abuse directed toward all politicians.
In a member statement to the house Tuesday, Jansen recounted some of the comments she said have been directed to her since she crossed the floor to the NDP from the Progressive Conservatives last week.
“Dumb broad. A good place for her to be is with the rest of the queers,” Jansen read.
She said she had been labelled “dead meat,” a “useless tit,” and told that she should stay in the kitchen.
“Now you have two blond bimbos in a party that is clueless,” Jansen said, reading another message.
She said such harassment and abuse thinly hides violent intent and can scare off women seeking to make a contribution in public life.
“If you are stunned by the words you have heard in the last few days, if you reject the inherent violence behind them, and you know that harassment and abuse – even if it’s verbal and even if it’s online and even if it’s directed at a political opponent – that it’s poison.”
Watch Below: For the first time since crossing the floor to join the NDP, MLA Sandra Jansen addressed the legislature, sharing some of the hateful messages she’s received. Julia Wong reports live from the Alberta Legislature.
“Let us be strong and clear in our resolve that no matter where we sit along political lines we stand together against this,” Jansen told the house.
“In our words and our actions every day from all sides if we don’t feed it, we must oppose it.
“Please oppose it. Don’t ignore it. Don’t look the other way. Don’t excuse it. Because our daughters are watching us,” Jansen said.
“They are watching the challenges facing women in politics today and imagine if we let that poison become normalized or if our daughters forgo the political arena altogether. That scares me.”
Jansen was given a standing ovation from politicians on both sides of the aisle.
The Calgary-North West legislature member crossed the floor from the Tories, a party she had been affiliated with for 30 years.
Jansen said the abuse and harassment she endured running on a progressive platform in the Progressive Conservative party leadership race had become intolerable.
She said she fears the PCs are moving to the hard right on social issues and now feels more at home in Premier Rachel Notley’s NDP.
With files from Global News
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