It can definitely be argued that Canada’s 2019 federal election campaign got pretty nasty at times. Between political Twitter feuds, controversial scandals and leaders’ debate one-liners, Canada’s party leaders were all guilty of an unkind comment or two. Now, it seems that this unpleasantness has spilled out onto Canada’s streets, as Alberta and Newfoundland's election drama has turned into a full online war.
This federal election campaign has certainly not been without its unfriendly moments. Earlier this month, Justin Trudeau accused the Conservative Party of running the “nastiest” campaign yet, and Andrew Scheer accused the Prime Minister of launching “personal attacks” on him. If the country wasn't divided before the election, then it certainly seems to be now.
Residents of Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador have been arguing on social media relentlessly since Monday night’s federal election, and things between the two are starting to get real nasty. After Newfoundland and Labrador voted overwhelmingly Liberal, and Alberta voters chose Conservative candidates in 33 out of 34 ridings, things are getting political!
Attention was first drawn to the fallout by CBC journalist Peter Cowan, who tweeted to say, “The level of hatred online from Albertans towards Newfoundlanders and Labradorians for electing Liberal and NDP MPs is staggering. What’s even more surprising is that it’s largely coming from people who are from NL originally.“
The level of hatred online from Albertans towards Newfoundlanders and Labradorians for electing Liberal and NDP MPs… https://t.co/M15xiDI5Jm— Peter Cowan (@Peter Cowan)1571785103.0
After Cowan shared several screenshots of the personal and insulting attacks, it became clear that these were just a few examples of the war that was breaking out between the two regions.
Since then, more people have come forward to share screenshots of the arguments breaking out between the two provinces online, with some denouncing the comments on Twitter.
Just some normal post-election reactions, perfectly healthy country we have here, not deeply sick at all #elxn43… https://t.co/nbdjI2hADM— Andrew Whalen (@Andrew Whalen)1571750550.0
Albertans are thought to have voted largely Conservative because of the potential impact Liberal policies could have on their oil-reliant region. Policies such as the carbon tax, the proposed clean fuel standard, and changes to the way pipelines are managed are all no-go zones for a lot of Albertans, and many had hoped that Newfoundland and Labrador residents would feel the same.
When the result was announced that Newfoundland and Labrador voted largely Liberal, some Albertans felt betrayed, particularly as both regions share an economic reliance on oil.
"Even if you offer few seats, at least we would know we have your support. Just saying," one person wrote.
NL Facebook just is everyone who ever worked in Alberta yelling at everyone who didn’t, in case you thought twitter… https://t.co/937JFeqDXO— Melissa Royle Critch (@Melissa Royle Critch)1571749551.0
Liberal politician and ex-Labrador City mayor, Graham Letto, took to Facebook on Tuesday to speak about the online war between Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador. He wrote, “I am totally disgusted at the hatred, blame, and bullying that is happening between our two provinces.”
He continued, “Politics has stooped to a new low when I witness the rhetoric that Facebook has allowed to be exploited across this great country and family has been pitted against family simply because of where they chose to live and support their families.”
In a Twitter post on Wednesday, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said, "The first responsibility of a Prime Minister is to unite the country. Albertans sent an unequivocally strong message this election. It's time for Justin Trudeau to listen."