Hold the UCP government accountable for the actions of Paul Bunner

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Paul Bunner is a speechwriter for Alberta’s ruling party, the United Conservative Party. In 2013, Bunner published an article for C2C Journal that called Canada’s residential schools, a black mark on the country’s history, a “bogus genocide story”.

Residential schools are an appalling event in Canada’s history, in which hundreds of thousands of Indigenous children were taken away from their families and placed into boarding schools. Thousands died and the residential school system has been proven to have contributed to increased rates of mental health issues, substance abuse, and suicide within Indigenous communities. The last of these schools did not close until 1996, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which released its report in 2015, concluded that this was an act of cultural genocide.

The UCP claims that Bunner is a speechwriter tasked to put the government’s policy into words, and that he is not a policy advisor or involved in the making of policies in any way. However, the fact that the UCP has chosen to stand behind Bunner instead of taking proper action is concerning, as well as the fact that many of Kenney’s public statements from the past year have been written by someone with such disdain for Indigenous peoples. We demand that the UCP government immediately fire Paul Bunner and issue a public apology to the Indigenous peoples of Alberta and Canada.