Yukon party leader Curry Dixon apologizes for rude text messages written by members of his party about Prime Minister Sandy Silver and NDP leader Keith White.
The Prime Minister’s Office sent out screenshots of the texts to the media late Sunday night, quoting Silver that the messages were sent to him in a group chat, which he believed he was included in by accident.
The texts contain inappropriate comments about all three leaders, including at least five references to the size of their genitals and comparison of their sizes.
One post contained crude assumptions about Silver’s sexual preferences.
The CBC decided not to publish the messages due to the fact that they contain vulgar and potentially defamatory language.
“Inappropriate and rude messages”
Former interim party leader and re-elected MLA Stacy Hassard, as well as his colleague, re-elected MLA Wade Eastchenko, are two of the people who left comments in the group chat.
Dixon was also a chat member.
Ted Lacking, a spokesman for the Yukon party, told CBC via email that the chat was created by a private individual not affiliated with the party on Friday morning, and so he said he didn’t know why it was created or why certain people were added. …
Initially, Dixon sent Silver an apology in a text message, stating that he knew that Hassard and Istchenko were involved in “inappropriate and rude messages.” In his unofficial apology to Silver, Dixon said he spoke with Eastchenko and Hassard and that they both apologize.
The CBC also reached out to the Yukon NDP for comment from White, but did not receive an immediate response. Lucking told CBC in an email that Dixon also reached out to White and apologized before the messages were made public.
In a statement released late Sunday night, Silver called the behavior “unacceptable” and said his party had an interest in how Dixon plans to fight it.
“I am sharing this [screenshots] with the media, because the Yukon people need to be aware of the culture that is considered acceptable by the Yukon party, ”said Silver.
‘I am sorry for these stupid and immature deeds’
The Yukon party issued an official apology just after midnight on Monday, hours after Silver released his statement.
“As soon as I saw these [comments]“I immediately spoke frankly to both of them and I’m sure they understand how offensive and unprofessional these comments are,” Dixon said.
He said both elected officials have apologized and committed themselves to learning from the incident and “committed to advocating for a safe and respectful Yukon.”
Dixon added that as a result of these messages, none of the MLAs will be allowed to sit on any legislative committees or take on the role of critic when the party creates its shadow cabinet.
“This is an important opportunity for all Yukonians to realize that words matter and that we need to actively defend a respectful community,” Dixon said.
The statement also contained a brief apology from both MLAs who made comments.
“I am sorry for these stupid and immature actions,” Hassard said. “I apologize unconditionally and will learn from this mistake to protect the area where all Yukonians feel welcome.”
Wade Eastchenko called his actions immature and “unacceptable.”
“I sincerely apologize for these comments and am deeply embarrassed by them. I pledge to learn from these mistakes. “
CBC has asked to continue the conversation with Dixon, Istchenko and Hassard. All three declined to be interviewed.