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The Gateway is the University of Alberta’s student newspaper. Photo: CC, Flickr, IQRemix.

The Gateway sees legal action after criticizing the MP’s contact with Faith Goldy

Edmonton Conservative Member of Parliament Kerry Diotte is filing a lawsuit against the University of Alberta’s student newspaper over accusations of racism from the publication. The Gateway criticized Diotte for his contact with far-right commentator Faith Goldy, and accused him of supporting her recent Toronto mayoral campaign, in an article published on Nov. 3 and a second editorial piece on Nov. 5th.

The Gateways comments centred around a photo Diotte posted on Twitter in February of 2017, posing with Goldy, in which he congratulated her on “making the media great again.” Goldy was a commentator for Rebel Media at the time and had recently come under fire for claiming a Muslim perpetrated the Quebec City Mosque shooting.

Several months after the photo in question circulated, Goldy would leave Rebel Media under public pressure from her appearance on Neo-Nazi podcast The Daily Stormer.

Diotte denied the accusations in a statement posted on his official Facebook page on Nov. 19.

“I find racism and racists abhorrent. My grandmother was an Indigenous woman and my family has been on the receiving end of deplorable racist comments. My constituency of Edmonton Griesbach is made up of very ethnically diverse communities and I’m proud and happy to serve them.”

The Gateway has since amended the articles in question, removing explicit accusations of racism and any reference to the MP’s ongoing political support for Goldy.  The Fulcrum was unable to confirm any official or personal endorsement of Goldy’s mayoral campaign from Diotte.

The MP has a history of controversy, with many opponents comparing his often-inflammatory Twitter comments to U.S. president Donald Trump. During his tenure as an Edmonton Sun columnist, Diotte was known for his hardline conservative views—his column was critical of immigrants in particular and once referred to unemployed Czechs as ‘gypsies.’

Diotte also came under fire in 2016, after his printing of a “bingo card” containing what he claimed were Liberal Party buzzwords, including ‘First Nations’ and ‘Syrian.’ Although he later apologized for the tweet, his public criticism of the Trudeau government’s immigration policy has continued.

Diotte has also threatened legal action against Edmonton Health Care activist Haiqa Cheema and racial issues blogger Bashir Mohammed over similar accusations of racism on Twitter.

@KerryDiotte has to be one of the most racist MPs sitting in parliament.  I expect student leaders to exercise better judgment when engaging with politicians. There is a fine line between being “non-partisan” and being complicit.

 

 


At the time of publication, The Gateway was unable to comment on the lawsuit. Diotte’s office could not be reached for comment.