Rumour has it the Alberta Identity slogan will be “I’m OK, Rural, K – but not that kind of rural”.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney shuffled his cabinet Thursday morning in an attempt to remind caucus who his friends are, and, for kicks, make some lefty heads explode.
The latter was achieved with the simple switch of the Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism, and Status of Women, formerly held by Leela Aheer.
Aheer alone was replaced as Minister by Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr, Calgary-Glenmore MLA Whitney Issik as the Associate Minister of Status of Women, and Calgary-North MLA Muhammad Yaseen as Associate Minister of Immigration and Multiculturalism.
Even though Yaseen is working under the Ministry of Labour and Immigration, his portfolio assignment will include being the literal face of multiculturalism for the Ministry of Culture, Multiculturalism, and Status of Women team.
I don’t care what your political stripe is, YOU KNOW IT’S TRUE.
As such, Yaseen will be “tasked with reaching out to ethnic and faith communities and working across government to address recent attacks on vulnerable individuals and communities”.
Apparently, Aheer was too much culture, multiculturalism, and woman, to implement Kenney’s vision of the Alberta Identity.
To add more insults to the initial insult, Kenney added that he felt Orr’s “rural perspective” would prove advantageous in creating an Alberta Identity Strategy. According to online sources, Orr lives in or near the village of Clive, population ~780.
For the record, Leela Aheer is the MLA for Chestermere-Strathmore, so, we can only presume he was simply twisting the knife in Aheer’s back for his own enjoyment.
Now, I’m not going to suggest Aheer was the perfect Minister – even if you could have one Minister of what has now been divided into three different portfolios to accommodate the promotion of a mediocre white guy.
I’ve seen complaints about Aheer.
She “toed the party line”.
She “didn’t speak up”.
She “rolled over”.
She “didn’t respond to our concerns about senior’s issues”.
I’m not saying she was all that we could expect her to be.
What I am saying is that it took two people to replace her in her Ministry, and three to replace her completely.
Women are used to this but that doesn’t make it right.
What I can say is that this is integral to the Alberta Identity:
- some of us will pay more to drive big trucks we don’t actually need;
- some of us will support the violation of privacy rights if we disagree with the victim politically, and;
- some of us will accept that we need to pay three people to allow one man a leadership role when one woman did it on her own for the last two years.
Unfortunately, this is not new to far too many of us – in Alberta and beyond.
If you think that should change, we welcome your support.
This post contains opinion.
Deirdre Mitchell-MacLean is a descendent of European settlers in Canada.
Connect: @Mitchell_AB for more, @thisweekinAB for posts, @politicalRnD for something in between
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