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Jason Kenney criticized for using photos of Rick Mercer, Calgary nursing students in unemployment tweet

United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney is facing backlash over images he used in a Labour Day tweet meant to highlight the plight of unemployed Albertans.
United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney is facing backlash over images he used in a Labour Day tweet meant to highlight the plight of unemployed Albertans. CREDIT: Twitter/@jkenney

United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney is facing questions over images he used in a Labour Day tweet meant to highlight the plight of unemployed Albertans.

“On Labour Day, thank you to all the working men and women who have made our province great,” Kenney tweeted on Monday.

“Also thinking about the nearly 167,000 unemployed Albertans who want to work but are unable to find a job. Hoping they will soon enjoy the dignity of work.”

The tweet featured four images – however, two in particular have since come under scrutiny.

“We are proud of our #MRU nursing students and programs, but question why Jason Kenney thought it acceptable to use this photo?” the Mount Royal Faculty Association tweeted on Wednesday. “Our photos should not be used without consent, and we do not support this.”

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In response, Kenney tweeted “no offence was intended by the tweet — quite the opposite in fact.”

The faculty association responded in a tweet, “We thank you for apologizing if use of an unauthorized photo was offensive, which it was. As educators who promote and encourage life-long learning, we trust that this has been a critical lesson and that this behavior will not be repeated.”

WATCH MORE: Jason Kenney receives Twitter backlash over Christmas comments

Another image used by Kenney appeared to depict Canadian television personality Rick Mercer at a farm.

When someone brought the tweet to Mercer’s attention, he tweeted, “I’m not a farmer I just played one on TV.” His tweet has since received over 800 likes.

Kenney’s tweet received dozens of replies, including several that questioned whether he had obtained copyright permission to use the images. One directly questioned why the tweet hadn’t been taken down given the Mount Royal Faculty Association’s position on the use of its photo.

“Having been informed by @MRUFaculty that he does not have consent for use of the images, why hasn’t he taken them down?” a Twitter user with the handle @tim4hire tweeted. “I would presume Mr. Kenney has respect for the law and would not wish to knowingly continue to commit a copyright violation.”

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United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney is facing questions over images he used in a Labour Day tweet meant to highlight the plight of unemployed Albertans.
United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney is facing questions over images he used in a Labour Day tweet meant to highlight the plight of unemployed Albertans. CREDIT: Twitter/@tim4hire