There are a couple of actual conservatives holding down the fort in the PC caucus and sometimes, they even ask the government valid questions. True to form, the NDP treats them with the same contempt they treat every other Albertan who dares question them.
This time it was interim PC leader Ric McIver on the receiving end of the NDP spite. He asked the Premier a question in the Legislature about PTSD and suicides among correctional peace officers in Alberta. His question was met with heckling and jeers from the government side. The NDP heckled a question about suicide. How gross is that?
Suicides are a serious problem in Alberta. There has been a 30% jump in the rate of suicides in this province over the last year and it would be nice if the government didn’t act like bunch of baboons when someone asks them what, if anything, they are doing about it.
One Saskatchewan based study showed that PTSD rates of correctional officers is nearly as high as the rates seen in Vietnam veterans, at around 20%. These officers see rapes, assaults, hostage takings and sometimes murders. I’m no prude about heckling in the legislature, but when an honourable member is talking about suicide, shut your mouth and act like a grown up.
It was confirmed to me by a few sources that the heckler is MLA for Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville, Jessica Littlewood. She, of all people should know better and respond to the suicides of corrections officers like an adult, with seriousness and dignity. Let me tell you why.
Littlewood has one provincial correctional facility within her riding and another federal prison just outside of her riding with many of the staff from that particular prison living right in Fort Saskatchewan. The correctional facilities are huge employers in town. This fact might have been evident to Littlewood if she had lived in or even campaigned in the riding before election day.
Let’s just all imagine how the media would treat a Wildrose MLA had they behaved the way Littlewood has. Mainstream media would be running columns for days, trying to wring an apology out of them.
But it’s the NDP so you’ll only read about it here.