Death threats. Racist taunts. Vows of violence. Inside the increasingly personal attacks targeting Canadian female journalists covering the Alberta oil industry.
There’s a lot to unpack here, and most coverage of the Alberta oil industry is based on myths and stereotypes. Yet, as we’ve seen over the past weeks, there are at least some journalists who are willing to stand up and take the chance to shine a light on how this story is being reported. For the most part, this hasn’t led to the kind of coverage many of us want to see.
But a handful of journalists and journalists’ organizations seem to be saying “enough is enough.” It’s the latest blowback to the public backlash to a campaign by Alberta NDP Premier Rachel Notley to silence critics of the oil industry (and, to a lesser extent, the NDP in general) and silence the voices of women in that province. A few months ago, Notley, who is not a native English speaker, tried to use a “code word” to silence one of her critics, saying that her criticism of the oil industry was racist and sexist. Now, this campaign is finding a new target–this time, the coverage of the women’s movements at the center of those campaigns.
In an email exchange with the Rebel, Notley said, “I am not going to spend my time dealing with your attacks.”
She continued, “I am not going to spend my time dealing with your attacks.”
Notley, along with the Alberta NDP, were responding to the campaign, #NotYourNewDeal, that began when a blog called #NotYourNewDeal released images and stories depicting Notley’s actions during her time as a provincial cabinet minister in 2005 (in the midst of the oil industry debate as well as the province’s recent housing crisis). Notley and the NDP had said they would address the issues Notley’s government was raising, but instead, they used the same type of language that would be used to silence her critics a few months ago.
For her part, Notley has made it perfectly clear that this is just the latest example of the NDP using the fear of losing votes from rural voters in Alberta to discredit those who question their policies. In a May