UCP candidate Brian Jean is calling on Alberta NDP candidate Rob Miyashiro to apologize for sharing a joke about the wildfires raging in the province’s north.
Alberta Premier Danielle Smith announced a state of emergency on Saturday as over 100 wildfires burned.
But on Friday, one Twitter user made light of the situation, writing, “Sad this is happening but isn’t it kind of a Metaphor for The UCP burning this province down the past four years.”
Miyashiro, the Alberta NDP candidate for Lethbridge East, retweeted the post.
He chose not to apologize when asked about it at an Alberta NDP campaign stop in Lethbridge with leader Rachel Notley on Monday night.
“There’s (not) really any comment to make,” he said. “If you look at the tweet, I mean, just look at the tweet.”
“After sharing a tweet that makes a mockery of the wildfires and evacuations, Rachel Notley and #yql-east NDP candidate Rob Miyashiro chose to double down today,” the UCP War Room wrote in response.
Jean said Miyashiro should just apologize.
“Lethbridge voters should take note,” he said.
Since Friday, Smith has largely put campaigning on hold to deal with the crisis. She attended one UCP fundraiser on Saturday afternoon in between press conferences about the wildfires.
During an extensive wildfire update on Monday afternoon, Smith announced that eligible evacuees will receive $1,250 per adult and an additional $500 per dependent child under 18 years. She also put out an urgent call for 1,000 volunteer firefighters, saying some experienced Indigenous firefighters would like to join the fight.
Around 29,000 Albertans have been displaced by the fires.
The Town of Drayton Valley announced on Facebook that four homes have been lost in the wildfires.
Smith made her first campaign announcement in three days on Tuesday afternoon, in which she announced the UCP’s plan to tackle rising criminal activity in the province.
Notley has continued campaigning, saying it’s appropriate for her to do so because Alberta is in an election period.
The Alberta NDP leader said both she and Smith are continuing to work on the campaign amid the crisis.
“Indeed, we’ve seen both of us do that,” she said in response to a question from True North. “And so, that’s what we’re doing.”
She did not answer a question from True North about whether it was wrong for the premier to receive criticism for attending a UCP fundraiser over the weekend considering that Notley has continued her campaign.