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Danielle Smith apologizes to Progress Alberta head for 'swastikas' remark

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Alberta Premier Danielle Smith has apologized to left-wing writer and activist Duncan Kinney after incorrectly suggesting he had spray painted swastikas on two Ukrainian monuments.

Smith issued the apology by way of Twitter late Friday afternoon, the day earlier than an extended weekend.

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“On Might 16, 2023, at an area candidate’s discussion board in Brooks I responded to a query by making a degree that I take questions from media shops with differing political opinions and views than my very own,” she wrote.

“In my response, I mistakenly stated that Duncan Kinney of (Progress Alberta) had pled responsible to felony fees arising from portray swastikas on Ukrainian monuments.”

Kinney is actually accused of portray the monuments with anti-Nazi slogans, and has pleaded not responsible. His trial has but to happen.

“I apologize to Mr. Kinney for my inaccurate description of the matter,” Smith concluded.

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Kinney is presently going through mischief fees alleging he spray painted two Ukrainian monuments in Edmonton in 2021.

The Ukrainian Youth Unity Advanced’s bust of Roman Shukevych — a Ukrainian nationalist determine who fought with the Nazis and has been implicated in wartime massacres of Jews and Poles — was defaced with the phrases “precise Nazi.”

The monument to Ukrainian warfare lifeless at St. Michael’s Cemetery was additionally tagged with “Nazi monument” and “14th Waffen SS.”

Kinney wrote about each situations of vandalism for the Progress Report, the media arm of left-wing advocacy group, Progress Alberta. The put up claimed the vandalism had been perpetrated by “an unknown particular person or individuals.”

Kinney was charged final fall and is scheduled to face a jury trial subsequent 12 months.

Smith’s feedback got here to gentle when a Twitter consumer following the Brooks discussion board stated Smith referenced Kinney and stated he had been “charged after spray-painting swastikas.”

Kinney lawyer Tom Engel shortly threatened authorized motion, claiming Smith’s remark might bias potential jurors and was the other of what prosecutors allege Kinney did.

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Engel declined to touch upon Smith’s apology.

Regardless of calls from Jewish and Polish teams to take away the statues, some Ukrainians proceed to lionize Shukevych for his combat for independence from the Soviet Union. After Kinney was charged, the Edmonton department of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress likened criticism of Shukevych to the “drained Russian propaganda that Vladimir Putin makes use of to justify his genocidal warfare in Ukraine.” 

Kinney, in the meantime, has vowed a “vigorous defence” and claims the fees had been motivated by his criticism of the Edmonton Police Service. EPS denies the declare and famous Crown prosecutors reviewed the case earlier than approving fees.

The case has additionally impacted Edmonton’s civilian police oversight physique, with a former police commissioner accusing metropolis Coun. Anne Stevenson of trying to affect an unspecified investigation into Kinney. A 3rd-party report cleared Stevenson earlier this 12 months.

Smith has apologized for quite a few feedback made each as a politician and through her time in media, together with evaluating vaccinated Albertans to Nazi followers. 

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