Posted on Jun 25, 2020


EDMONTON -- Alberta’s NDP Official Opposition is calling on Premier Jason Kenney to fire his speechwriter and publicly apologize after a shockingly racist essay has come to light.


Jason Kenney hired Paul Bunner as his speechwriter directly after the 2019 election. In 2013, Bunner was the editor of the C2C Journal, and authored an article titled The “Genocide” That Failed.


“The Aboriginal grievance and entitlement narrative continues to gather momentum,” Bunner wrote, “as evidenced by last year’s prolific Idle No More protests. And the $60-million Truth and Reconciliation Commission, far from working toward its stated objective of getting the whole story and then getting over it, appears wholly dedicated to the permanent entrenchment of a one-dimensional caricature of the history of residential schools.”


Bunner claims that for many indigenous children, residential schools “rescued them from ignorance, privation and violence at home on their reserves.” Bunner repeatedly suggests that survivors fabricated their experiences for financial gain. He singles out the late Harold Cardinal, former AFN National Vice-Chief and Chief of Sucker Creek First Nation, as the “the primary author of the modern Canadian Aboriginal grievance and entitlement narrative,” and former AFN National Chief Phil Fontaine as “lead architect of the campaign to make residential schools the centerpiece of Aboriginal grievances.”


“Already, vast swathes of the public education system are uncritically regurgitating the genocide story as if it were fact, thereby adding to the legions of Canadian voters who will be suckers for future Phil Fontaines and Harold Cardinals and their never-ending demands for more tax dollars and greater political autonomy,” Bunner wrote.


In the same essay, Bunner speculates about “aboriginal terrorism,” argues that white children in boarding schools suffered equivalent abuses and that “the British treated Natives in this country more benevolently than they did any other indigenous peoples within their empire,” and concludes that “the bogus genocide story of the Canadian Aboriginal residential schools system is an insult to all of us.”


Bunner’s essay has been posted publicly on the C2C Journal website since its publication.


“It is painful to read something as profoundly racist as the words Mr. Bunner wrote and published,” said Rachel Notley, Leader of the NDP Official Opposition. “I am deeply troubled that Jason Kenney selected someone who holds these views to be one of his closest collaborators in the Premier’s Office. It is disturbing to think of how many of the premier’s public statements over the past year have been composed by someone who harbors such hatred towards indigenous people.”


The Bunner essay surfaced less than a week after another high-profile appointee of the Kenney government resigned in disgrace. Leighton Grey was appointed to a panel that helps pick Alberta judges, but resigned on June 18 after numerous racist, sexist and anti-Semitic social media posts came to light. Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer has still not condemned Grey’s comments. It took four days before Kenney conceded in the legislature that the comments were “offensive.” 


“Jason Kenney must fire his speechwriter Paul Bunner without delay and apologize to residential school survivors in Alberta,” Notley said. “And he must apologize to all Albertans for once again appointing someone with a public record of racism to a position of power in his government.”