As anti-racist protests sweep the country, local leaders are beginning to weigh in on the matter. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney told a radio show on Monday, June 1 that he condemns the death of George Floyd in Minnesota. He also said that police brutality and racism shouldn't justify "political violence." 

Premier Kenney went on the Danielle Smith Show on 770 CHQR on Monday where he shared his views about these protests. The Premier said, "There's obviously a reality of police brutality in the U.S. and of a long history of racism."

He then asserted, "that should in no way justify political violence, including anarchy and looting that in many cases is destroying minority-owned businesses and neighbourhoods."

The Premier also talked about George Floyd's death in Minnesota. "This particular case of police brutality was appalling and should be condemned by everybody," he said. 

He added, "I agree with those who raise their strongest objections to what happened, to what set this off."

"But I also agree with those who're opposed to the kind of rioting that is taking lives and destroying livelihoods in an indiscriminate way," he continued.  

Kenney also had some words to share for those that are protesting in Alberta.

He said that while his government would generally discourage gathering in public amid a pandemic, people should maintain a safe distance from one another if they do meet up to protest. 

"We don't want to create super-spreader events that could undermine the progress we've made in stopping the spread of COVID-19," he concluded. 

According to The Edmonton Journal, Kenney condemned racism once again by saying that people in Minneapolis are rightfully outraged by the events that happened there.

He also added that he doesn't want the risk of COVID-19 spreading through these public gatherings, as reported by The Edmonton Journal. 

The Premier was asked about his handling of anti-racism initiatives by opposition leader Rachel Notley in the question period of a legislative session on June 1. 

Notley told Kenney and members of the Legislature that "racism is a problem here and now."

Kenney said, "I thank the honourable leader of the opposition for raising the important question of our need to, as a society, continue to combat racism and all of its forms, hatred and bigotry." 

He defended that his government is undertaking a number of measures to combat racism in Alberta and provide equal opportunity to everyone. 

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