Rachel Notley assassination chatter 'needs to stop,' Wildrose leader says as Bill 6 anger mounts
'I have a zero tolerance policy for such comments,' Brian Jean says after death threats appear online
Numerous Albertans upset over the NDP government's passage of controversial farm-safety legislation have been openly talking online about assassinating Premier Rachel Notley — and the head of the official opposition says it needs to stop.
"These kinds of comments cross all bounds of respect and decency and have absolutely no place in our political discourse," Wildrose Leader Brian Jean wrote in a Facebook post Friday morning.
"This is not how Albertans behave."
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His comments came in response to numerous Facebook messages posted publicly on Thursday by people apparently upset by the government's approval of Bill 6, which extends occupational health and safety rules and workers compensation coverage to paid farm workers in the province.
"Someone's gotta man up and kill her," one person posted on the CTV Lethbridge Facebook page, suggesting in a subsequent post to "put a pitchfork through [Notley's] neck."
"Maybe we need to go back to the old west and just shoot her already," another person added.
The Alberta RCMP tweeted a response on Friday, saying, "We have received a number of posts regarding comments posted online about public figures. Thank you for your concern."
Cpl. Hal Turnbull noted the premier has her own protection detail, which is overseen by Alberta Sheriffs, and said he's not aware of any request from her office for RCMP assistance with respect to anger over Bill 6 or these specific online comments.
"It's not uncommon for the premier's office, through the Alberta Sheriffs, the Edmonton Police Service and the RCMP to work together collaboratively to investigate these matters and determine the credibility of these threats," Turnbull added.
Notley has no further comment
Notley's press secretary said Friday the premier had nothing more to say on the matter beyond what she said on Thursday with respect to online threats against another member of her caucus.
Energy Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd wept openly in the legislature on Thursday as she described threats and intimidation she said she experienced from Albertans angry about Bill 6.
Speaking to reporters afterward, Notley described those threats as the "regrettable actions" of "a very small group of people opposed to Bill 6 who took their opposition too far."
She also pledged her government would continue meeting and speaking with Albertans to craft the specific regulations that will apply to farms in the province under the new legislation.
"We will do so with opponents who are angry or not angry … because that's what good governance looks like."
Previous death threats
It's not the first time Notley has been the subject of assassination chatter online.
Back in October, the RCMP said it was aware of people in a Facebook group named "Out the NDP in Alberta" talking about killing the premier.
Insp. Gibson Glavin would not say at the time whether the RCMP was investigating the posts as uttering threats.
Here is the full post from Brian Jean: