Alberta’s newest NDP MLA will be temporarily given a security detail. Sandra Jansen is getting the added protection after receiving threats following her floor-crossing from the Progressive Conservatives last Thursday.
“Because of an increased number of threats after MLA Jansen announced she was joining the government caucus, it was decided to have the Executive Protection Unit lend their assistance temporarily,” the Alberta government said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.
Jansen said it was precautionary measure.
“Just for a little while, I’ve got some help. We’re just concerned about some of the comments that have come in,” she said. “I feel much safer as a result and I think that when this blows over we can all get back to doing our jobs.”
On Tuesday, Jansen gave an impassioned speech to the house, recounting some of the comments she said have been directed at her since she joined the Alberta NDP last week.
“Dumb broad. A good place for her to be is with the rest of the queers,” Jansen read. The Calgary-North West MLA said she had been labelled “dead meat,” a “useless tit,” and told that she should stay in the kitchen.
“Now you have two blond bimbos in a party that is clueless,” Jansen said, reading another message.
After reading the comments in the house, Jansen received a standing ovation from MLAs on both sides of the aisle. She said she read the comments in hopes of urging her colleagues to fight abuse directed at all politicians.
“Please oppose it. Don’t ignore it. Don’t look the other way. Don’t excuse it. Because our daughters are watching us,” Jansen said.
Jansen said Wednesday she received emails and messages of support from “literally all over the world” following her speech Tuesday.
“I got a note from a soldier in Ukraine this morning that I can’t even read all the way through because it just makes me cry it’s so wonderful,” she said.
“I had no idea it was going to strike the kind of nerve it did but it did and I think that’s a good thing.”
Jansen crossed the floor from the PCs last Thursday. She had been affiliated with the Tories for 30 years. Jansen said the abuse and harassment she endured running on a progressive platform in the PC party leadership race had become intolerable. (bd)