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'This is a democracy, not a union-ocracy': Premier stands by education minister after vote of no confidence

Last Updated May 26, 2021 at 6:45 am MDT

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney listens as the 2021 budget is delivered in Edmonton Alta, on Thursday February 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

CALGARY — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is standing by his Education Minister, Adriana LaGrange, after the union representing Alberta teachers voted resoundingly this weekend that they have no confidence in her.

Ninety-nine per cent of delegates at the Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) annual representative assembly voted in favour of a non-confidence motion, which was first introduced Saturday.

RELATED: Alberta teachers pass non-confidence motion in Education Minister LaGrange with 99% vote

On Tuesday, when asked about the vote, Premier Kenney says they won’t be fazed.

“Thankfully, this is a democracy, not a union-ocracy. We make decisions democratically at elections. The government decides who ministers are, not special interest groups, and not unions,” he said.

Kenney then accused the NDP of trying to inject leftist ideologies into the school curriculum while they were in power.

Mount Royal Political Scientist Lori William, says this recent vote, paired with an earlier non-confidence vote in Health Minister Tyler Shandro indicates a wider problem.

“The government is pretty much under siege at this point in time, because they are getting challenges from the Teachers’ Association, with respect to the education minister, because of very unpopular curriculum changes, it’s not just, sort of, a battle between teachers and the government,” said Williams.

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Williams says the UCP has brought it upon themselves for being unnecessarily combative, and they should consider listening to the concerns coming in.

“This dismissiveness that seems to be coming back to the floor again is not going to effectively address the very legitimate, widespread concerns that have been raised by a number of different individuals, groups, etcetera,” she said.