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Alberta’s prize-winning sexist and racist essay shouldn’t have been chosen

“Giving a voice to women of all ages is something I will always stand for. To the young women who one day aspire to a career in politics, please continue to use your voice and stand up for your communities”

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Alberta’s UCP government has presented a $200 prize to the author of an essay that argues that more women should give birth in order to avoid ‘cultural suicide’.

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In February, the province announced the Her Vision Inspires essay contest, inviting women aged 17 to 25 to submit essays describing their vision for Alberta and what they would do if they were members of the Legislative Assembly. .

The competition awarded third prize to an essay that references a far-right white nationalist theory that white populations with low birth rates are being replaced by non-white immigrants through mass migration.

“While it’s sadly popular these days to think that the world would be better off without humans, or that Albertan children aren’t needed because we can import foreigners to replace us, it’s a sick mentality that amounts to a surge of cultural suicide,” it read. the test in question.

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Since attracting a torrent of negative attention on social media, the Assembly’s website featuring the three award-winning essays was taken down on Monday night, with the online link leading to an error code.

The third-prize entry argued that women are “not exactly” equal to men, and the idea that they should try to break into traditionally male-dominated careers is “wrong” and “harmful”.

“Such a focus undermines the languishing unique strength and truly important role that women have in preserving our community, our culture and our species,” reads the essay, attributed to S. Silver.

“I believe the best approach would be to reward families for their reproductive service both with financial awards to offset the financial burden they bear and with medals to symbolize their precious achievement of having 2+ children,” reads the test.

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The jury of UCP MPs was to be led by Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville MP Jackie Armstrong-Homeniuk, who was named Associate Minister for Women’s Affairs in June.

Armstrong-Homeniuk’s office declined an interview request from Postmedia, declined to provide details about who was judging the contest, and did not explain how or why the essay was chosen.

In a statement, Armstrong-Homeniuk said the competition was intended to reflect a wide range of opinions from young women in Alberta. Armstrong-Homeniuk has stopped apologizing for his role in the pick.

“While the essay in question certainly does not represent the views of all women, myself included, the essay in question should not have been chosen. Giving a voice to women of all ages is something I will champion. To the young women who aspire to a career in politics one day, please continue to raise your voices and stand up for your communities.”

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“Reprehensible”: Pancholi

NDP opposition children’s services critic Rakhi Pancholi told a press conference on Tuesday that the sexist, racist and hateful ideas included in the essay are “reprehensible” and should be condemned by the government.

“It’s a nod to the racist replacement theory that fuels white nationalist hatred and which the RCMP says is one of the ways these types of dangerous groups recruit young people,” Pancholi said.

Pancholi said voters deserve to know which UCP MPs were involved in his choice and why he didn’t raise any red flags early on.

“Why is the judge who chose him now saying they shouldn’t have chosen him?” she asked, adding that it was not about a diversity of opinions.

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“This notion of diversity of opinion is being used as a cover for the government to celebrate hate speech,” she said, adding that no NDP MPs participated in the panel.

“I don’t use the term fascism lightly… It’s not a dog whistle. It is not a tangential connection. There is a clear connection between the language used in this essay and similar ideologies in fascist societies and there are many examples in history such as Nazi Germany,” Pancholi said.

She refrained from calling for the resignation of Armstrong-Homeniuk, but accused the UCP of failing to address issues important to women, including access to health care for women in communities rural.

The contest was a partnership between the Legislative Assembly of Alberta and the Canadian Region of Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians, which works towards better representation of women in Canadian and Commonwealth legislatures.

More soon…

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