It’s been a weekend of apologies by the Wildrose, and those apologies continued Monday in the Legislature. The apology came for suggesting the man-made famine, that wiped out millions of Ukrainian farmers in the 1930’s happened because they lacked incentive to work and grow food.
“We’ve apologized. Apologized unreservedly,” Wildrose house leader Nathan Cooper told reporters entering the house Monday afternoon. “I had some good opportunity to speak with some folks from the Ukranian-Canadian Congress over the weekend, and express some concern and regret around that particular column.”
Wildrose member Dave Hanson said he is proud of his Ukrainian heritage and it’s “deplorable” for any political party to try to score political points off the genocide. Hanson was one of nine Wildrose members who authored a blog post that characterized Alberta’s planned carbon tax as a socialist program that will serve as a disincentive to work.
The nine pointed to the Holodomor and suggested the enforced collectivization of farms removed the incentive for millions of Ukrainian farmers to feed themselves and their families. In fact, the genocide was perpetrated by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin as a way to bring a resistant region to heel.
Cooper said more will be done to make sure postings on social media will be handled better. “We always have appropriate checks and balances in place. It didn’t meet the test this past weekend and we’ll make sure it does.”
There are an estimated 300,000 Albertans of Ukrainian descent.
Debate on the carbon tax was expected to go late into the evening and early morning hours, as the Wildrose attempts to bring in amendments. “We’re definitely prepared to go into the wee hours of the morning, today and potentially tomorrow depending on what the government chooses to do,” Cooper said.
“In terms of how the money is spent, where that money is sent to. As you know it’s reported that we will be moving an amendment that will ask for a referendum on this issue. Albertans deserve an opportunity to voice their opinion on this particular issue and we think it’s important that that happens.”
The session was scheduled to wrap up last week, but will continue until at least Tuesday.