who is Danielle Smith, Premier of Alberta, who apologized to unvaccinated public servants? – Liberation

The new head of government of the Canadian province caused controversy by believing that the non-vaccinated formed “the most discriminated group” that she knew.
Question Asked By Bernhash on October 24, 2022

Your question follows a statement by Danielle Smith, elected on October 11 as the head of the government of the province of Alberta, Canada. “I am sorry for everyone who has been discriminated against because of their vaccination status,” she declared on October 22 to the press, after a speech at the general assembly of the United Conservative Party (PC), which she chairs. Before continuing: “I am sorry for all the government employees who have been fired from their jobs due to their vaccination status, and I welcome them if they want to come back.” These proposals have been widely relayed on social networks by accounts hostile to health measures. The latter see it as a “world premiere” which could lead to other similar positions being taken.

Another statement noticed, during the same event: the intention expressed by Danielle Smith to amnesty the people who would have been condemned to fines related to the containment measures: “It was a political decision to set aside the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to put these tickets in place, and I think it can be a political decision to make amends, apologize and remove them. […] So I will be looking at the range of outstanding tickets that remain unpaid, and getting advice on which ones we can waive and amnesty.”

From the day of her accession to the post of Prime Minister, Danielle Smith had set the tone. Asked by the Canadian press about the inclusion of the non-vaccinated in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, in the same way as people who are victims of racial or sexual discrimination, the politician had thus declared that they constituted “the most discriminated group I have witnessed in my life” : “It’s a pretty extreme level of discrimination that we’ve seen. I don’t take anything away from the discrimination I’ve witnessed in the other groups you’ve pointed out, but we’ve had an amazing time over the last year in particular and I want people to know that I find that unacceptable”, she launched, causing a lively controversy.

Lawyer, journalist and politician

Throughout the election campaign, many Canadian media returned to his professional career, which was atypical to say the least. In the early 2000s, notes CBC, on the meeting “specialist lawyer” for an opposing property rights group “endangered species legislation and indoor smoking restrictions”. She momentarily turns to the press, providing a chronicle “of opinion” for everyday Calgary Herald.We thus find, under his pen, an article extolling – in defiance of any scientific and medical consensus – the safety and benefits of controlled tobacco consumption.

In 2009, she left the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta (PC) to lead another provincial political party, Wildrose. In 2012, she sat for three years in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. During her mandate, in 2014, she returned to the fold of the PC (the party would merge three later with Wildrose, becoming the current United Conservative Party).

Her electoral mandate not being renewed, Smith returned to the media sector in 2015. She became a radio talk show host, dedicated to current events, then to land rights and health policies.

During the Covid crisis, its programs and podcasts are widely distributed to criticize health policies, and to question associated scientific data. She also promoted ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine (not hesitating to affirm, before retracting, that this treatment “cured 100% of coronavirus patients within six days” ).

In January 2021, she announced on Twitter that she was leaving the morning talk show she had hosted since 2016, believing that her freedom of expression, especially when she mentioned the pandemic, was hampered by the Gafam, as well as due to a “pack effect” on social networks. She will continue her media adventure via a show on the network news forum, a podcast, a newsletter, as well as an online show for the fortnightly Western standard.In the latter, she will notably hand the microphone to various covidosceptic figures (such as Dr Hodkinson, who still affirmed, at the end of 2020, that the Covid 19 was “the biggest hoax ever perpetrated” ), again attracting much criticism.

Exploiting bereavement linked to the pandemic

According to Globe & Mait, this career as a talk show host “allowed him to see first-hand how business closures, restrictions on daily life and vaccine passes stoked a powerful anger that became a defining issue for a small but vocal segment of the province and Party members United Conservative”. Thus, her political comeback and her accession to the post of Prime Minister owed much “to the way she was able to exploit the bereavement linked to the Covid-19 pandemic”.

Even if it means fanning the embers by stirring up fantasies. the Globe & Mail observes, moreover, that Smith “used the prospect of mandatory childhood vaccinations by Ottawa to defend its sovereignty bill, which it said would give the province the power to ignore federal laws.” This, while this project “was not proposed or even debated at the federal level.”

No “crazy radar”

The politician’s controversial positions are not limited to Covid or health issues. Until recently, Smith aired his opinions on the Locals social network. The press unearthed various particularly controversial publications, several of which were deleted by the person concerned. We find there the questioning of the scandal of the anonymous Amerindian and Inuit graves in Catholic boarding schools, an alleged involvement of NATO in the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, the relay of a Fox News video accrediting the propaganda story that “secret biological laboratories financed by the United States are in Ukraine”… Regarding the war waged by Moscow against Kyiv, Smith admitted in recent days to being the “ill-advised comments”, explaining that “his knowledge and his opinion”on these subjects had evolved drastically.

Still, Danielle Smith seems particularly permeable to the most dubious influences. Evidenced by the succession of journalist Justin Ling, his newsletters rich in links to sites with more than questionable content, including a blog relaying openly anti-Semitic theses and translations of articles by conspiracy authors. And for good reason, the interested party confided in 2021: “When I was in politics, my staff used to tell me, ‘Danielle, you don’t have crazy radar’ [radar à “fous”, à “choses folles”]. Because I couldn’t really tell, when someone wanted to talk to me about an issue, whether they might be a little unbalanced or a little conspiratorial.”

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