Facing heat on Ukraine, Alberta Premier Danielle Smith decries ‘politicization’ of conflict

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Alberta Premier Danielle Smith is decrying criticism she’s dealing with over previous feedback on the Russian invasion of Ukraine as an “tried politicization” of the worldwide battle by her political opponents.

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In a statement posted to social media Sunday, Smith slammed these vital of her on Ukraine, notably the Opposition NDP, whereas failing to deal with her earlier feedback on the problem.

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“Attaining peace is my best concern for Ukraine. That might be executed with measured diplomacy, not virtue-signalling. I might request the NDP and their allies discover inside themselves the decency to not politicize such a painful and horrible tragedy. This can be very unbecoming,” Smith stated.

“I’ve and can at all times stand with the Ukrainian folks.”

Smith has confronted criticism each from throughout the political aisle and amongst Ukraine supporters for lately unearthed feedback she had made on a right-wing social media platform. She didn’t acknowledge or apologize for these posts in her assertion Sunday.

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In a single Feb. 24 submit on the web site, she questions whether or not areas of Ukraine that “really feel extra affinity to Russia” must be allowed to interrupt away. One other submit that seemed to be since-deleted seems to query if NATO and Ukraine are partially liable for Russia’s invasion.

In an April 29 livestreamed video on the identical website, Smith says Ukraine ought to declare neutrality and denuclearize to assist resolve the battle; Ukraine was in possession of nuclear weapons following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, however repatriated these to Russia, with all weapons eliminated by 2001.

  1. Danielle Smith called unvaccinated people the most discriminated against group in her lifetime during a news conference on Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022.

    Danielle Smith under fire for past online comments on Ukraine invasion

  2. Calgary-Elbow NDP candidate Samir Kayande speaks to media at a news conference in southwest Calgary on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022.

    ‘Hypocrisy’: NDP points to Smith’s 2014 comments in push for Calgary-Elbow byelection

  3. Danielle Smith called unvaccinated people the most discriminated against group in her lifetime during a news conference on Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022.

    No apology from Danielle Smith over comments on discrimination of unvaccinated people

The NDP referred to as on an apology from Smith Sunday.

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“Danielle Smith is so clearly within the mistaken right here, and he or she should apologize. Her try and blame others for her personal phrases is a deeply worrying signal for the subsequent seven months in Alberta,” stated NDP communications director Ben Alldritt.

Alberta is residence to greater than 1 / 4 of all Ukrainian-Canadians, with their inhabitants numbering near 370,000 within the 2016 Census. The provincial authorities has committed $23 million to Ukraine support, together with for Ukrainian nationals fleeing the nation and relocating to Alberta.

In her assertion, Smith stated she values her personal Ukrainian heritage, along with her great-grandfather Philipis Kolodnycky fleeing the nation to Canada after World Struggle One.

The premier added she is going to ask for a briefing on how Alberta can higher help Ukrainian refugees, together with by expediting work visas.

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Talking to Postmedia Saturday, former Progressive Conservative MLA Thomas Lukaszuk referred to as Smith’s previous social media feedback unforgivable.

“To learn what she truly says behind the scenes is heartbreaking. Duplicitous, can be the understatement of the 12 months,” stated Lukaszuk, who has spearheaded fundraising efforts for Ukraine alongside former Premier Ed Stelmach.

Different posts mentioned COVID vaccines, residential colleges

Elsewhere on Smith’s feed, the premier had made quite a few posts in help of the Freedom Convoy that took over downtown Ottawa and blockaded a number of border crossings earlier this 12 months. She additionally made a number of posts in opposition to vaccine mandates and shared anti-vaccine content material.

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In one other submit, she questioned the legitimacy of stories that unmarked graves had been discovered at residential colleges throughout Canada.

The emergence of these posts comes throughout a tumultuous first week in workplace for Smith, who was sworn in as premier Tuesday.

That very same day, Smith claimed those that didn’t get vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19 endured the worst discrimination she had witnessed in her lifetime, feedback which drew criticism from minority teams, well being professionals and a few politicians.

Talking on a radio present Saturday, Smith stated she ought to have specified authorities discrimination when she had made her feedback.

— With information from Dylan Quick and Anna Junker

Twitter: @jasonfherring

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