Posted on Mar 19, 2018

NDP MLA Connolly invites Kenney to join him at event marking Vriend decision

NDP MLA Connolly invites Kenney to join him at event marking Vriend decision
Kenney has never retracted remarks calling landmark gay rights decision a ‘virus’

EDMONTON – Jason Kenney opposed the unanimous Supreme Court of Canada Vriend decision which made it illegal to fire someone for simply being gay. At tonight’s University of Alberta 20th anniversary forum on the Vriend decision, Jason Kenney should publicly apologize.

Jason Kenney called the Vriend decision a “virus” of judicial activism. He said Alberta should use the notwithstanding clause to overrule it, stating, “if the court rules to enforce gay rights, and the Alberta government rolls over, they will clearly be implicated in the decision.”[1] Kenney also called for a new social conservative party to fight LGBTQ2S rights.[2]

NDP MLA Michael Connolly has asked Kenney to make a public apology at tonight’s event. Connolly said, “I want to give him a chance to state why he thought it was OK to fire a person for being gay. In fact, I welcome him to join me at tonight’s public event and make that apology.”

The NDP spoke out in favour of the Vriend decision 20 years ago. Then-NDP leader Pam Barrett said, “I am thrilled with the decision. The Court recognized what Albertans have been saying for years: that this is an issue of fundamental human rights and nothing else.”[3]

Kenney should apologize for opposing the Vriend decision. Tonight’s forum is the perfect venue.



[1] Alberta Report. January 19 1998. pg 10.

[2] Alberta Report. May 4 1998. pg 10.

[3] Calgary Herald. April 3 1998. pg A6.