EDMONTON â€” Alberta’s Wildrose party is distancing itself from a campus club that used the Wildrose name and logo on an email that equated feminism with cancer.
Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said Tuesday the University of Calgary group named Wildrose on Campus was never officially recognized by the party despite using its logo and wordmark.
He says the party has now informed the club by letter to stop doing so.
“It was inappropriate and wrong. What more can I say?” Jean told reporters at the legislature.
“I was extremely disappointed, but let’s be clear, this is not a registered association of the Wildrose.”
Jean said he was aware that the group was using the logo and the party is now working to get a handle on youth groups using Wildrose branding.
“We will be taking steps to make sure it’s a more formalized procedure, when people use our logo they do get permission to do so beforehand,”he said.
Jean’s comments come a day after the campus group sent out an email advertising the upcoming screening of the movie “The Red Pill,” extolling men’s rights.
The email invited people to the screening by saying that feminism is cancer. As outrage grew on social media Monday night the group apologized and announced it had fired its communications director.
Alberta’s NDP government said in the legislature Tuesday that it’s another example of a Wildrose party that displays intolerance toward women and minorities.
NDP backbencher Sandra Jansen noted the cancer comments were being debated on the same day the province put forward a bill to help victims of sexual and domestic abuse sue their accusers.
“While we take action on domestic violence, they say feminism is a horrible disease. That is the Wildrose,” Jansen told the house.
“They’ve proven time and time again they can’t keep their true colours from showing.”
Deputy premier Sarah Hoffman took the fight to Jean directly.
“Why is your party spending its time calling the fight for women’s equality a cancer on our society?” Hoffman shouted across the aisle to Jean while answering one of his questions.
“It happens again and again with you guys.
“Another day, another half-hearted apology. Will the leader of the Opposition actually show some leadership (and) put an end to these Wildrose bozo eruptions?”
Wildrose house leader Nathan Cooper later told the house Hoffman’s remarks were beyond the pale and beneath the dignity of the chamber.
“Let me be very clear that no one in this caucus thinks or agrees with statements that were made by Wildrose on Campus,” said Cooper.
“The statements that were made are totally inappropriate, completely wrong and do not represent myself or any member of this caucus.”
The Wildrose has been fighting a label of intolerance. In the 2012 election, the party was criticized for accepting a candidate who had warned that gays needed to change their ways or face an afterlife in hell’s “lake of fire.”
Last year, Jean himself apologized after he publicly joked that it was against the law to “beat” Alberta Premier Rachel Notley.
Notley and many female members of her cabinet, including Hoffman and Environment Minister Shannon Phillips, have been the target of online slurs, abuse, and threats.
Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press