barnes-sgr_thumb This article is more than 6 years old

Jason Kenney’s Finance Critic Appears on ‘Alt-Right’ Website Kenney ‘Publicly Condemned’ in August

Rebel Media guest appearance at odds with Jason Kenney’s pledge to cut ties with the ‘alt-right’ website

After calling it an “alt-right” website and creating the impression future guest appearances were off the table, Jason Kenney’s Conservatives now appear to be resuming ties with Rebel Media.

Not only that, but United Conservative Party finance critic Drew Barnes held a 40-minute interview behind Rebel Media’s $80 paywall Wednesday night, where he questioned the science on carbon pollution, talked about privatizing healthcare and suggested Premier Rachel Notley is “deliberately” working to sabotage the economy.

In August, after Rebel Media’s Faith Goldy applauded white supremacists at a deadly rally in Charlottesville and later appeared on a neo-Nazi podcast, several contributors walked away from Rebel Media and conservative politicians across Canada faced intense pressure to distance themselves from the website and its far-right politics.

Conservative MP Michael Chong denounced Rebel Media for promoting “anti-semitism” and “white supremacy.” Chong also said the website’s personal attacks on Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, specifically “calling for a democratically-elected premier to be locked up,” is something “I strongly oppose and find offensive.”

Likewise, Conservative MP Peter Kent ruled out future appearances too, noting Rebel Media’s “hateful anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic content” and “white supremacy” went “beyond the pale.”

At the time, Kenney claimed it was unfair to criticize his past appearances on Rebel Media because he had already “refused to attend their events” and had not “done an interview with them for over a year” – in fact, Kenney actually appeared on Rebel Media more recently than that, but who’s counting?

Kenney also insisted he had “publicly condemned” Rebel Media’s “alt-right editorial direction in recent months.”

When pressed by reporters if his statements specifically ruled out any future appearances on Rebel Media, Kenney would only say his policy was the “same as it has been for the last year.”


Guess that means Kenney’s policy has officially changed if his finance critic is making guest appearances on Rebel Media again?

Over the course of his 40-minute softball interview with Rebel Media’s Sheila Gunn Reid, Barnes touched on climate science, health care and tax policy.

Here are a few of the highlights:

Debating the science of carbon pollution:

“We’re going to have just as much carbon in the atmosphere, this is before we even debate whether carbon’s a problem or not.”

Citing climate change deniers as tax experts:

“It’s amazing, the carbon tax, as Friends of Science calls it, is all pains and no gains.”

Note: Friends of Science is an astroturf group that promotes the idea that global warming is caused by sunshine.

The NDP is deliberately sabotaging the economy:

“You know, Albertans know in their heart that the NDP’s deliberate decline of our economy has hurt our kids and our grand kids.”

Note: according to new economic data, Alberta’s economy is currently showing the strongest growth in Canada.

Dismantling public healthcare:

“​We have to have some more market-based mechanisms in healthcare, as well.”

Endorsing Rebel Media as a reliable source of information:

“We’ve seen it from Rebel TV, we’ve seen it from a great many people.”


Our journalism is powered by readers like you.

We’re an award-winning non-profit news organization that covers topics like social and economic inequality, big business and labour, and right-wing extremism.

Help us build so we can bring to light stories that don’t get the attention they deserve from Canada’s big corporate media outlets.


PressProgress is an award-winning non-profit news organization focused on uncovering and unpacking the news through original investigative and explanatory journalism.

Most Shared

thumb-2024-05-07-rainbow-rally-vancouver News

Take Back Alberta Leaders are Training ‘Scrutineers’ to Infiltrate Campaigns and Act as ‘Security’ on Voting Day

Related Stories


Hundreds of People Rallied in Vancouver against Anti-LGBTQ+ Hate. Here’s What They Had to Say.

View the post

The Far-Right’s Newest Scapegoat: ‘Drug Users and Unhoused People’

View the post

2SLGBTQ+ Groups are Planning the Biggest Political Action in Decades to Combat Rising Hate in Canada

View the post
Our free email newsletter delivers award-winning journalism directly to your inbox.
Get Canadian Investigative News You Won't Find in Corporate Newspapers.
Our free email newsletter delivers award-winning journalism to your inbox.
Get Canadian Investigative News You Won't Find in Corporate Newspapers.