Member of Alberta multiculturalism council resigns over antisemitic posts

Poor vetting:
A member of Alberta Premier Danielle Smith’s new multiculturalism panel resigned Monday after the Opposition resurrected past antisemitic social media posts.
The Alberta NDP asked Smith to remove Tariq Khan, a Calgary-based Realtor, from the Premier’s Council on Multiculturalism, citing “a documented history” of antisemitic social media posts.Smith’s office said Monday that Khan offered his resignation and the premier has accepted it.

“The premier denounces all forms of intolerance and hate,” Smith’s office said in an email.

Smith announced the new council Friday to promote cultural diversity and inclusiveness in Alberta. Khan was a part of the 30-member council, headed by co-chairs Sumita Anand and Philomina Okeke-Iherjirika.

The Opposition NDP provided The Canadian Press screen grabs of what appears to be Khan’s Facebook account.

One shows an edited image of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with the Star of David on his forehead, feasting on the blood of a child with the words “can’t get enough” written above his head. Another post shows Khan allegedly praising a terrorist convicted for his role in the 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament.

The Canadian Press could not independently verify those posts were once on Khan’s Facebook account.The Alberta NDP also shared a screen-grab of a 2018 letter rejecting Khan as a UCP nominee for the constituency of Calgary-North East. In the letter, then-party executive director Janice Harrington refers to a video he allegedly shared that labels the Holocaust a hoax.

Khan was not immediately available for comment.

Deputy premier Kaycee Madu said Monday that it’s “obvious” someone in the vetting process missed the gap.

“We will go back and take a look at our process and show that we close whatever gap that existed that made it impossible for us to catch this serious error,” he said at a news conference at the Alberta Legislature.

“We are humans. I think what is important is that when … it’s brought to our attention, we will fix the problem.”

Alberta Opposition Leader Rachel Notley said she finds the error disturbing.

“It goes beyond odd,” she said in Calgary. “It’s either demonstrative of next-level incompetence from the premier’s office … or it’s demonstrative of a genuine desire to divide and discriminate and promote racism.”

Source: Member of Alberta multiculturalism council resigns over antisemitic posts

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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