It’s been a strange day in the Alberta provincial election campaign.
- On Friday, after watching Wildrose Party leader Danielle Smith unveil another plank what Wildrose is calling its “Family Pack” pledge, the executive assistant to Premier and Progressive Conservative leader Alison Redford — a woman named Amanda Wilkie — put this on Twitter:
- “If @ElectDanielle likes young and growing families so much, why doesn’t she have children of her own? #wrp family pack = insincere”
- Wilkie subsequently apologized (“140 characters, didn’t come across the way I meant it and for that I’m sorry. I meant to imply something entirely different.) and shut down her Twitter account.
- Smith then released this statement:
- March 31, 2012 (Calgary, AB): Today Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith issued the following statement in response to comments made by a Staffer in Premier Redford’s Calgary office regarding the Wildrose Family Pack.
- “In the last day the question has been raised about why I don’t have children of my own. When David and I married in 2006 we intended to have children together. After a few years we sought help from the Calgary Regional Fertility Clinic. I appreciated the support and assistance of the caring staff as we went through tests and treatments, but in the end we were not successful.
- “I consider myself very fortunate to have a terrific stepson, Jonathan, David’s son from a previous marriage. I am also blessed to have grown up in a large family with four siblings who have given me the opportunity to be the auntie of 5 terrific nieces and nephews: Emily, Sam, Chloe, Seyenna and Logan.
- “Family is very important to me and I consider this to be a very personal matter. I will not be commenting on it further.”
- Then it was Premier Redford’s turn:
- “Alberta is made up of all types of families. Each one has a story. Each one is unique. There is no one type of family that is more authentic than the other.
- Last night, a tweet was sent that was entirely inappropriate. It was hurtful and does not reflect my values nor those of my campaign in any way.
- Once I became aware of the tweet, I called Danielle Smith immediately. I look forward to speaking with her privately.
- The young woman who authored the tweet has resigned from her position. From that action I know she understands the gravity of her actions.”
- And finally, one last tweet from Smith:
- “I just spoke with @Premier_Redford. I appreciate her sincerity and accepted her apology.”