Posted on Jun 30, 2020


EDMONTON - Premier Jason Kenney’s racist speechwriter Paul Bunner used an anti-Black racial slur in an article in which he claims that people of colour are responsible for much of the violent crime in Canada, and also argued that a gay man was partly responsible for being tortured to death.


“Paul Bunner spreads hate through his writing,” said David Shepherd, MLA for Edmonton-City Centre. “Systemic racism and homophobia is fuelled by the kind of hatred that Paul Bunner writes and publishes. By refusing to fire Paul Bunner, Jason Kenney endorses his racism and homophobia.”


“I am disgusted to see Paul Bunner explain away a murder because the victim was gay,” said Janis Irwin, MLA for Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood. “The passage of time does not excuse this normalization of violence against LGBTQ2S+ people, and Bunner’s record of publishing hate continues into very recent times. Jason Kenney must fire Paul Bunner.”


“We have a Minister responsible for multiculturalism, who also claims to be an ally of LGBTQ2S+ Albertans. Why is she silent?” said Jasvir Deol, MLA for Edmonton-Meadows. “If the premier will not fire Paul Bunner, we must conclude that every statement he has made on these topics was insincere, and every statement he makes in the future is also insincere.”


In his 2003 article “Canada’s Cracked Mosaic”, Bunner recalls his time at Boston University when another Canadian student warned him “to be careful about blacks.” According to Bunner, “one of the other hockey players, a native Bostonian, invited me into his room to show me the biggest handgun I had ever seen. ‘It’s for the n------,’ he said.” (original text not redacted)


“Ethnic minorities are disproportionately involved in violent crime on both sides of the border, but at least Americans admit it,” Bunner wrote. “In this country the Toronto Star attacks the police as racist when they point out the over-representation of blacks in the city's violent crime statistics. When Indian thugs trap white kids and cut them to pieces, the Edmonton police quickly rule out a racial motive and nobody balks.”


“Everyone knows that race is the defining element of violent crime in Canada today,” Bunner wrote. “The weekly casualty figures from the gang wars in Toronto's Jamaican ghetto read like dispatches from a war zone. The shooting of five East Indians during the first weekend of December in Vancouver was but the latest skirmish in a decade-long war that has killed 50 people. On the prairies, if it's not Asian gangbangers whacking each other and occasionally innocent bystanders, it's aboriginal murder and mayhem. The Christmas season in Edmonton opened with five white teenagers being lured into a house, where at least a half-dozen reputed members of the Alberta Warriors Native gang allegedly tortured and terrorized them for two hours.”


In another article, “You Be The Editor,” Bunner argues that the 1998 torture and murder of Matthew Shepard in Wyoming received too much media coverage in comparison with a less widely publicized murder in Arkansas. Bunner paraphrases conversion therapy supporter John McKellar: “It raises a number of issues that merit public discussion, suggests Mr. McKellar, including the disproportionate involvement of gays in deviant, violent sexual activities (Shepard's desire for "rough trade" contributed to his death, he notes) and the ability of gay activists to suppress or influence news stories through "intimidation."


McKellar was also recently cited by disgraced Senator Lynn Beyak in a 2017 speech opposing a bill that added gender identity and gender expression to the Canadian Human Rights Act.


Kenney’s speechwriter is the author of numerous racist, sexist, Islamophobic, and homophobic articles dating from the late 1990s up to 2016. Bunner’s 2013 article “The ‘Genocide’ That Failed” claimed that residential school survivors were fabricating their experiences to create a “bogus genocide story” for financial gain. 


Several indigenous leaders have called for Kenney to fire Bunner, including the Confederacy of Treaty Six Chiefs, and Marlene Poitras, Alberta regional chief for the Assembly of First Nations.