I am beyond appalled at the recent events that took place during a session in Parliament.
It is OK to oppose policy.
It is OK to debate policy.
And of course, it is OK to shape and re-write policy.
However, it is not OK to heckle a minister in parliament and get ejected from a session in progress as a result. This is loutish behaviour and should not be tolerated.
As a member of parliament, Blake Richards represents his constituents, is an ambassador for the city of Airdrie, and the province of Alberta. When he attends Parliament, he is a representative not only of his riding, but Albertans as well. His recent antics are disgraceful and cast a shadow on all Albertans, politicians and common folk alike.
Richards’ behaviour sets a poor example to youth in our communities, and serves to perpetuate the negative stereotypes of Albertans that exist.
I’ve lived in this province for 17 years, and the Albertans I know are hardworking, neighbourly, kind and compassionate.
In an ill-conceived, juvenile moment, Richards has painted all of these tax-paying Albertans – who afford his MP’s $160,000-$170,000 annual salary – with his brush.
Richards needs to issue an unqualified, unreserved public apology for what he has done, and indeed, the newly formed UCP under Jason Kenney should see fit to admonish, disavow and/or discipline him for this type of parliamentary behaviour, lest it be seen that their silence implies tacit approval.
I am particularly disgusted this incident follows in the wake of Remembrance Day, where words like honour, freedom, sacrifice and democracy seem to have lost their meaning and have been tossed out the window in favour of bipartisan politics.
Albertans deserve better. Canadians deserve better.