March 8, 2022

-Western Standard


Premier Jason Kenney said a challenger to United Conservative Party (UCP) Deputy House Leader Joseph Schow was disqualified because she had “a large track record of extreme and even hateful” social media posts.

Kenney didn’t mention Jodie Gateman’s name, but it’s no secret that she was vying to replace Schow— a member of his inner circle — in Cardston-Siksika.

Unless the Vulcan County Council’s appeal is successful, Gateman won’t be allowed to appear on the ballot as local members select a candidate for the 2023 election.

“My understanding is that in the case of that constituency there was an applicant who had a large track record of extreme and even hateful postings or repostings on social media, particularly singling out Muslims for approbation (sic) which is not acceptable to this party that believes in tolerance and pluralism,” Kenney told a press conference Monday.

Kenney was responding to a question posed by Western Standard reporter Amber Gosselin.

“There is anger in the riding of Cardston-Siksika after a challenger to the incumbent was disqualified, in part, because of a Facebook post of her son’s. What do you say to those angry UCP members who say it was another case of you protecting your allies?” asked Gosselin.

“I don’t know anything about her son’s Facebook. I do know that the United Conservative party has a screening process for people applying to be candidates,” replied Kenney.

However, Gateman says she was disqualified for only two items she reposted — one in 2015 and one in 2106. Only the former referenced Muslims.

“His segment is not only slanderous, but it is totally false and incorrect. I’m enraged that the premier, who clarified at the beginning of that statement that he was not aware of the specifics, made a slanderous comment with regards to me in a public, reporter-filled venue,” said Gateman.

“If he doesn’t know the specifics then how on Earth can he make a statement that I have a large track record of hateful comments against a certain race of people? I’m appalled that we have this type of leadership.

“Obviously, they want to try to throw some mud on me and they want to make me look bad.”

Gateman was informed she was disqualified Saturday in a letter from UCP Executive Director Dustin van Vugt.

She claims it was because of two reposts on her Facebook account — one in 2015, the other in 2016. Only the 2015 repost referenced Muslims.

Her supporters angrily cried foul.

Kenney backed the decision.