rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Tory caucus gives a standing ovation to Sandra Jansen’s passionate MLA statement

Please chip in to support rabble's election 2019 coverage. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

Sandra Jansen

To see members of a spurned political party leap to their feet to give a standing ovation to an MLA that had just abandoned them to join a government they despise must surely be a first in Parliamentary history.

Just the same, it happened yesterday in the Alberta Legislature when Sandra Jansen, until recently a candidate for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party and now a member of the governing NDP, rose in the Legislature to passionately denounce the hateful comments she has faced in person and on social media before and since she crossed the floor of the Legislature last week.

As all Albertans know, this kind of abuse -- mostly by anonymous cowards -- is standard operating procedure on social media in Alberta, almost entirely emanates from the political right.

In her first member’s statement as an NDP MLA, Jansen implored the members of the House: “Don’t ignore it. Don’t look the other way. Don’t excuse it. Because our daughters are watching us.”

When she sat down, the members of her former caucus and the Wildrose Party Opposition lumbered to their feet and thundered their applause. What can this mean? Shame? Denial? Political expedience caused by a sense of the way the wind is blowing? Or the fact that in their hearts they know she’s right?

I’ll tell you this: What Jansen had to say is worth listening to in its entirety.

This post also appears on David Climenhaga's blog, AlbertaPolitics.ca.

Like this article? Please chip in to keep stories like these coming.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.