Response to Recent Acts of Political Harassment

Barry Morishita

August 29, 2022


The recent vitriolic, discriminatory and disgusting attacks on Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister of Canada, and Leela Aheer and Janis Irwin, elected members of the Legislature of Alberta, along with Jyoti Gondek, Mayor of Calgary, should motivate all of us to be better.  

It is simply not enough to call out this behaviour publicly, although at a minimum every politician in Alberta should have done this and I commend all of you who did. If we are to truly be leaders in Alberta, we must be the models of behaviour we hope to achieve in our political discourse.   

The language and emotion we use in our everyday conversations must be respectful and inclusive. Too often we see politics reduced to name calling and demeaning rhetoric with a goal to embarrass or hurt people and/or communities. This must stop now.   

I call on every elected official at every level to first denounce this behavior now.

I am also calling on all provincial party Leaders, Presidents, and Executive Directors to join me and the Alberta Party leaders for a joint conduct conversation.

We are leaders, and we need to lead by example.  

More importantly I am challenging every Albertan to respectfully engage one another. To debate issues, not people. To be passionate, but also to be inclusive. I am pledging today to be a better example and I invite each and every one of you to do the same. The people of Alberta are diverse, and that diversity is powerful and full of opportunities. Let’s stop putting others down for personal benefit! Together, let’s do the much harder work of raising others up for the benefit of all Albertans!