Red Deer-Lacombe Liberal candidate’s now deleted tweet called ‘inappropriate’ by Lacombe councillor

Candidate Tiffany Rose’s Tweets criticized recent BOLT cancellation vote

A recent tweet by the Liberal Party of Canada Candidate for Red-Deer-Lacombe Tiffany Rose has been called “completely inappropriate” by Lacombe Councillor Thalia Hibbs.

The Tweet states, “Lacombe, sounds about white. (2 female candidates voted to oppose)”, followed by a meme that has a photo of the current Lacombe Council with the words “never rides the bus” and “cancels bus poor people rely on, to save money” imposed on top of the photo.

Rose has confirmed to the Lacombe Express that the account is hers, the Tweet was created by her and the meme was also created by her.

Councillor Hibbs, who initially brought the Tweet to the Lacombe Express, replied to the tweet saying, “I think this tweet completely inappropriate. I’m not a candidate, I won my office.

“The fact that I’m a woman and appear Caucasian is completely irrelevant as is the gender and race/ethnicity of my colleagues on Council. #lacombe #ceg3.”

The Tweet by Rose refers the recent cancellation of the BOLT Transportation system which ferried passengers from Lacombe, Blackfalds and Red Deer.

Since the time of publication of this story, Rose’s Twitter account replied to Hibb’ comments saying, “Oops sorry, candidate was the wrong word. Any thoughts on representation on council, this sounds like #whitefragility to me.”

Rose has since deleted the tweets and posted a thread that said her intent was to highlight a lack of diversity in government.,

“Because I have lived below the poverty line and relied on public transportation I know, services like transit are disproportionately necessary to minority communities and by cutting these services our politicians place more barriers in place for marginalized folks to succeed. 2/3,” the tweet stated.

“As a Member of Parliament I will prioritize the needs of our community and work with the city council to ensure low income earners have access to the services they need. 3/3”

Rose said in a phone interview with the Lacombe Express that she is intimately aware of the, “predominance of white people in the community and the predominance of white people on city council.”

“Council for a long time has been really out of touch on issues that impact people of colour in the community, people of lower income in the community and people with disabilities and barriers to transportation,” Rose said.

Rose said she wanted to make the point that the cancellation of BOLT is unfair to a lot of people that relied on it and that she doesn’t feel that council intentionally cancelled BOLT due to racial discrimination.

“What I would say is that there are blind spots that we cannot see when we are constantly surrounded by people who are exactly the same as us,” she said.

Rose said she has advocated for diversity on Lacombe city council.

“Right now it seems like there is only one type of person that is being elected to city council,” she said.

READ ALSO: Lacombe Council votes to exit BOLT transit system

Rose said she pointed out the two women on council in her Tweet because they were the two dissenting votes on the 5-2 BOLT decision. Rose felt that Hibbs was the only councillor that listened to users of the transportation system.

”She is the only one who talked to users of this program. She is the only one who really understood what it meant to those people. I think it is significant that the female candidates were the ones with a differing view than the other five white male council members,” she said.

At council, all councillors expressed regret in having to cancel the system. Counc. Hoekstra and Hibbs both voiced their concerns with the choice in chambers and Hibbs spoke to the media following the council meeting. Counc. Jacobson, who voted with the majority, spoke to the media after council and apologized to the users of BOLT.

Rose wanted to be clear that she doesn’t feel council was behaving with overt discrimination

“I am saying there is a blind spot and I think it is something we need to address,” she said.

Counc. Hibbs previously ran against MLA Ron Orr to be the United Conservative Party candidate for the provincial riding of Lacombe-Ponoka.

The Lacombe Express has reached out to the Liberal Party of Canada and will update this story as information becomes available.



todd.vaughan@lacombeexpress.com

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