Mark one point against civility in politics.
A reply-all email from Calgary-Southeast Conservative Member of Parliament and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney about Progressive Conservative Deputy Premier Thomas Lukaszuk has given Albertans a glimpse at how split the Conservative movement in our province has become.
From the Edmonton Journal:
Kenney wrote the invective last Wednesday at 5:02 p.m. in response to an email sent from the office of MP Blaine Calkins, chairman of the federal Conservatives Alberta caucus, who wanted to know if Kenney and other MPs from Alberta would meet with Lukaszuk.
“Honourable Thomas Lukaszuk, deputy premier of Alberta will be in Ottawa on Thursday, June 21st, 2012 and is requesting a lunch or dinner with caucus,” says the email written by Calkins’ legislative assistant at 4:57 p.m. “Mr. Calkins will not be able to host this event as he has prior commitments, but would like to see if there is any caucus member who would be willing to host this event for the deputy premier.”
Kenney shot back a response just five minutes later, but instead of sending it only to Calkins’ office, he inadvertently sent it to everyone in the 26-member federal Alberta caucus, plus assistants: “I say a definite ‘no’ to Lukaszyk. I don’t think it makes sense to create a precedent to do a special caucus meeting for every visiting minister from the provincial government. Plus he is a complete and utter asshole.”
Relations between politicians from the two Conservative parties has been frayed since a number of federal Conservative Party MPs and many federal Conservative Party activists put their support behind the now-Official Opposition Wildrose Party in the recent provincial election.
During the election, Minister Kenney is reported to have said that “any attempt to hurt Wildrose by linking them to old Reform movement will backfire.”
Minister Kenney’s former spokesperson, Candice Malcolm, returned to Alberta earlier this year to work for the Wildrose Party during the election campaign. Minister Kenney’s Regional Affairs Director is Peggy Anderson, who served with Danielle Smith on the Calgary Board of Education from 1998 until the dysfunctional board was dissolved by Learning Minister Lyle Oberg in 1999.
Update: Minister Kenney has apologized.