EDMONTON – Alberta Premier Jason Kenney wants everyone to know that the fact that Paul Bunner, the man who writes his speeches, has written anti-Indigenous content in the recent past has no bearing on his job writing every word Mr. Kenney reads out loud.
“Mr. Bunner is a speechwriter. How he feels about a subject, like his feelings that Indigenous people have exploited the abuse they suffered in residential schools to create an entitlement narrative, couldn’t possibly influence his work writing a speech for me about Indigenous people living in Alberta,” Kenney said in press conference to address questions about why Bunner was hired despite his widely publicized beliefs.
“Mr. Bunner does not make policy, his job is to manipulate language to present policy in a certain light, there’s simply no way his own worldview could possibly affect how he goes about doing that.”
“I want to assure Albertans that if and when I say bigoted things, it’s because I sincerely believe them, not because some speechwriter tells me to,” Kenney said.
Kenney was also at pains to point out that many of the UCP’s elected officials and hired staff have long histories of espousing prejudicial views and that hasn’t had any effect on how they govern the province.
“The past is past, it’s hardly fair to dredge up something a man wrote decades ago. Or in this case, seven years ago, and then reiterated again five years ago when asked if his views had changed,” Kenney continued. “It’s not like he’s reiterated them again recently, mostly because we’re not letting anyone ask him.”
Kenney then finished the press conference by giving a short speech written by Bunner which contained so many dog-whistles it was inaudible to the human ear.