Alberta Premier Reviews Anti-Gay Candidate

November 23rd, 2007

Ed Stelmach Reviews Craig Chandler

Can I hear a “Whaaaa?

Alberta’s Conservative Premier, Ed Stelmach, is reviewing a party candidate’s nomination over anti-gay remarks.

Craig Chandler, who won the Calgary nomination of Calgary-Egmont this month, was sanctioned by the Human Rights Commission in January over a hateful, anti-gay letter published on his website and by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council for a libelous tirade against a gay man on his radio program.

Still, something’s askew. For those of you unfamiliar with Alberta politics, being reviewed by the provincial Conservative party for anti-gay remarks is pretty darn odd. Just last year, a private member’s bill that would have permitted civil marriage commissioners to deny their public services to gays and forced teachers to send out parental warnings before acknowledging the existence of same-sex marriage was defeated only through strategic means. Stelmach even awarded the private member that introduced the bill a cabinet position.

Now, I know things have changed in Alberta since the King Ralph days, but am I the only one that thinks this review could potentially amount to martyrdom?

Mind you, I suspect Ed simply wants to strategically distance himself further from Chandler’s potentially party-harming views. I’d certainly still be reeling from what Chandler wrote on his official political blog back in August: “To those of you who have come to our great land from out of province, you need to remember that you came here to our home and we vote conservative. […] This is our home and if you wish to live here, you must adapt to our rules and our voting patterns, or leave.”