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Pondering a day of ironic and depressing juxtapositions

Sandra Jansen

Yesterday was a day of ironic and not very happy juxtapositions.

In yesterday's posts, I commented on Sandra Jansen's passionate member’s statement to the Alberta Legislature Tuesday quoting and shaming the hateful comments she endured during her run to lead the provincial Progressive Conservative Party and since her decision last week to cross the floor of the House and join the NDP government.

Jansen implored the members of the House: "Don't ignore it. Don't look the other way. Don't excuse it. Because our daughters are watching us."

This resulted in the bizarrely ironic scene of the Conservative Old Boys' Club in the Legislature getting up on its hind legs to give her a standing ovation, and Kenney, whose supporters engaged in the bullying tactics that pushed her into giving up on the leadership, Tweeting his supposed agreement with what she said.

Also yesterday, a British court convicted the white supremacist who assassinated Labour MP Jo Cox during the Brexit referendum campaign in Britain. The "far-right activist" was sentenced to life in prison for Cox's murder and his attack on an elderly man who tried to save her.

The lesson here is that hate messages and death threats against progressive politicians and women in particular -- like those read in the House by Jansen and the death threats she has received for crossing the floor -- create an atmosphere in which real tragedies really can occur.

Jansen must now travel in the company an armed guard. Right here in Canada!

In the same post, I commented on the real meaning of the "refocused print edition" announced by the Edmonton Journal’s editor. The likely result, I wrote, will almost certainly be less local news and fewer local reporters to write about it.

Later yesterday, disclosures filed by the Journal's parent company, Postmedia Network Canada Inc., revealed that the company’s five top executives "were awarded," as the Globe and Mail passively put it, $2.3 million in "retention" bonuses.

The people being retained, of course, are the five executives -- including CEO Paul Godfrey -- not the journalists the chain requires if it is to have any hope of survival.

The lesson here is that the people who run English Canada's largest newspaper chain are without shame.

This post also appears on David Climenhaga's blog, AlbertaPolitics.ca.

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