On issue #1,232,191 of “politician puts foot in mouth:” Wildrose MLA Derek Fildebrandt was suspended from his party caucus after approving a comment which stated, “Mr Wynne or whatever the hell she identifies as.”
Earlier Friday, a person commented on Fildebrandt’s official Facebook page, congratulating the MLA on telling the truth about “Mr Wynne or whatever the hell she identifies as,” referring to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, who is openly gay.
In a reply to the post, Fildebrandt wrote: “Proud to have constituents like you!”
Hours later, Fildebrandt took to Twitter to apologize for the comment, saying he felt terrible at the thought that anyone in the LGBTQ community thought he shared the original commenter’s views. He said after re-reading the original comment, he “entirely misread it. 100 per cent against my views.”
Fildebrandt goes on to say he missed the “Mr” portion of the comment, a deliberate dig not only at Ontario’s openly gay Premier, but also the trans affirming policies being debated at the federal level. Even if this is true, the latter portion of the comment, “whatever the hell she identifies as,” is a little harder to miss.
The “truth” spoken of Premier Wynne is that her provincial government has ran deficits to keep expanding schools, transportation, and healthcare. That running a deficit for make-work projects is the correct thing to do in a recession is often lost on the right-of-centre politicians, including Alberta’s quaint Official Opposition, the Wildrose Party.
So Fildebrandt is either proud to have someone as a constituent who doesn’t know that austerity is a scam, or proud to have a supporter who is openly homophobic and transphobic.
…Alberta’s got a long way to go in shedding this whole redneck stereotype we’ve got going on. Credit where credit’s due: Brian Jean [Wildrose party leader] suspended Fildebrandt from the Wildrose caucus. Even so, I suspect this just means he’s telling his party to be more subtle about their bigotry, considering Alberta’s political right has to be dragged kicking and screaming into the modern era to affirm human rights.
Edit: The comment was on Facebook, not Twitter. Correction issued.