UCP Minister says members off base, need DEI re-education
Advanced Education Minister claims AGM members do not represent what the majority of Albertan Conservatives want.

Mike Campbell

November 8, 2023

Alberta’s Minister of Advanced Education, Rajan Sawhney, said that her party’s members do not represent the province at large and need to be educated on issues related to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).

UCP Minister says members off base, need DEI re-education

Sawhney’s statement comes just days after the United Conservative Party’s (UCP) record-breaking AGM, where members proposed — and passed — a number of non-binding policies for the government to consider, including one that called to abolish DEI offices in post-secondary institutions.

The UCP’s Advanced Education Minister responded to the passed policy on Tuesday. 

“The membership at the AGM doesn’t really reflect the broad base of the Conservative movement in the province,” Sawhney said.

“I think it’s always important to have conversations and have the opportunities to educate on exactly what some of these initiatives are as they relate to DEI,” she added. 

Sawhney further said that her policies will reflect what’s “best for the province at large,” regardless of what the membership democratically voted for. 

Members voted to end DEI across the board

The policy proposal — which over 3,500 AGM members voted on — states that EDI offices “have become the enforcement arm of woke ideologues on campuses.” 

EDI is considered by many to be antithetical to basic Western values such as individualism and equality of opportunity. EDI requires group-based discrimination to promote equality of outcomes. 

Proponents of EDI state that said discrimination is necessary to enable oppressed groups an opportunity to succeed. 

Premier Danielle Smith’s July 2023 mandate to Sawhney does not promote EDI. Smith’s office did not respond to The Counter Signal for a request for comment before publication.

On top of the proposal to abolish DEI offices in universities, the UCP AGM passed several other policy proposals. One resolution requires parental notification whenever a student under 16 wants to change their name or pronouns. 

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