Posted on Jun 19, 2020
SCHWEITZER DISMISSED NDP CONCERNS ABOUT DISGRACED APPOINTEE TO JUDGE NOMINATING PANEL
EDMONTON -- One of the people appointed by UCP Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer to help him pick judges has resigned after numerous hateful online comments and conspiracy theories came to light.
According to media reports, Leighton Grey has claimed that Black Lives Matter is “a leftist lie” funded by billionaire George Soros “for his own evil agenda.”
Grey compared Canada’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic to the actions of Adolph Hitler and the Nazis, and claimed that Microsoft founder Bill Gates “would have every single man, woman, and child vaccinated and digitally marked, like a tattoo at Auschwitz." According to media reports, Grey also attacked George Floyd, the man recent killed by Minneapolis police.
Grey’s resignation comes only days after Schweitzer defended him in the legislature as “a leader in his community, a person who mentors young people.”
NDP Justice Critic Kathleen Ganley had questioned Schweitzer about the secretive process that selected Grey for the Provincial Court Nominating Committee, and about Grey’s questioning of the number of women being appointed to the judiciary.
“Leighton Grey’s comments are discriminatory, hateful, and abhorrent to all Albertans,” Ganley said. “If Doug Schweitzer knew about Grey’s views and still appointed him to help select Alberta’s judges, it raises serious questions about his ability to confront systemic racism and inequality in Alberta’s justice system. Schweitzer must come clean about when he knew about Grey’s extremism.”
The Opposition is calling for a review of the process that appointed Grey to the panel, and a return to the open and public process brought in by the NDP and abolished by Schweitzer.
“Clearly Schweitzer’s secret process selected the wrong people,” Ganley said. “If a person with those kinds of hateful views can be named to a position of power once, then it can happen again. Schweitzer must return to open and public recruitment for Alberta’s boards.”