Alberta premier challenges Jason Kenney to expel Carpay over pride flag, swastika remarks

Premier Rachel Notley is challenging Jason Kenney to make good on his promise to deal with extremists by throwing John Carpay out of the United Conservative Party.

Lawyer John Carpay compared the pride flag to the Nazi swastika in video widely shared online

Lawyer John Carpay is challenging the Alberta government's Bill 24 in court.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is challenging Jason Kenney to make good on his promise to deal with extremists by throwing John Carpay out of the United Conservative Party.

"I think that if Mr. Kenney wants to convince Albertans that they should not be worried about the long-term agenda of the UCP, then he needs to demonstrate it by suggesting that Mr. Carpay doesn't have a home in that party," Notley said Tuesday after a signing ceremony with the Lubicon Lake Band in northern Alberta.

Kenney has faced calls to cancel Carpay's membership since the Calgary lawyer likened the LGBTQ pride flag to the swastika of Nazi Germany and the Communist hammer and sickle at a conference Saturday organized by Rebel Media. He also suggested the gay rights movement was an example of totalitarianism.

Carpay later apologized for "unintentionally" drawing that comparison.

Kenney acknowledged that apology in a tweet on Sunday. He condemned Carpay's remarks, calling any such comparison "vile, particularly given the violent persecution of LGBT people under such regimes."

Earlier this month, Kenney revoked the UCP membership of a former call-centre worker on his leadership campaign for ties to a white supremacist website. He told reporters the party was thinking about creating a database of extremists to help screen membership applications.

Kenney has not said what he plans to do about Carpay's membership. The UCP leader was not available to take questions Tuesday

Bill 24 court challenge

Carpay is the founder of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, which defends social conservative issues like anti-abortion protests and parental rights in court.

Carpay is a UCP member who last spring spoke in favour of a motion passed by a majority of delegates at the party's policy convention calling for parental notification if a child joins a gay-straight alliance or other extracurricular clubs.

He is currently leading a court challenge against Bill 24, which protects Alberta students from being outed to their parents if they join a GSA.

In April 2017, Kenney spoke at a JCCF event where he equated the work of founder John Carpay to American civil rights icon Rosa Parks, who refused to sit in the back of a segregated Alabama bus in 1955.

"So whether you're running the justice centre or whether you look at historical examples like (Rosa Parks), there's so many ways in which people can become engaged and demonstrate your conscience," Kenney said.

He also encouraged people to donate to Carpay's organization.

Notley said Kenney's 2017 comment was "second most insulting thing" she heard over the weekend. The first, she said, was Carpay's flag comparison.