Braid: Now TBA's Parker insults Poilievre. Will Premier Smith ever disown him?

Barely a day after begging forgiveness from his followers, Parker posted the tweet about Poilievre and his wife

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It’s long past time for Premier Danielle Smith to disown David Parker, the unrestrained, frequently unhinged leader of Take Back Alberta.

But will she? It’s not so easy when Parker praises her to the skies, even as he offensively slags federal Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre.

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A tweet from Parker’s X account last Friday brought disbelieving gasps from all over the political spectrum.

“I feel sorry for Anaida Poilievre,” Parker wrote.

“She has to watch her husband spend hundreds of hours a month with his old FWB” (friend with benefits).

“I’m sorry your husband doesn’t give you the respect you deserve, Anaida, no man should be spending that much time with a woman he used to sleep with if he is married.”

Parker refers to a relationship between Poilievre and federal power player Jenni Byrne that predates his marriage in 2017. Byrne still advises the Conservatives.

There will be no comment, a Poilievre staffer said Sunday. But Parker managed to gaslight both the leader and his wife. It’s hard to exaggerate the offensiveness of that tweet.

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Among Parker’s ideological allies, there’s a certain gleeful horror when he insults foes like ex-mayor Naheed Nenshi, and NDP leadership candidate Sarah Hoffman.

But now he goes after the federal leader who’s closely allied to Smith’s UCP and might actually take down the Trudeau Liberals.

The tweet, although shocking, isn’t really a surprise after Parker’s many claims that he serves only God. Any leader who leaves his God’s ordained path is open to his wrath.

At the moment, however, Parker is delighted with Premier Smith.

“I believe that we all owe a great debt of gratitude to the leadership and the wisdom of Danielle Smith,” he said in a recent Zoom meeting with followers.

“Danielle Smith has been an incredible premier. She has tried to balance the desires and the interests of the entire province and is working to defend our prosperity against the encroachment of Ottawa.”

Mainly, Parker is thrilled with her new rules on parental rights and transgender surgery and treatment.

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Parker has made Take Back Alberta a force in Alberta. Adherents of the movement virtually ruled the UCP’s annual meeting last November.

But he constantly and often viciously insults and threatens if crossed. He called Nenshi “grotesque” and questioned how he could be named Calgary’s sexiest citizen four years in a row.

That brought a humorous response from Nenshi. But the cruel Hoffman slur, based on her appearance, touched off a barrage of criticism across the spectrum.

Parker even offended TBA activists. He admitted as much in the same Zoom meeting, apologizing to members for “childish” attacks.

“Some people very close to me have raised the issue with me that I have been rude and impolite and even childish in some of my communications over the last couple of weeks and perhaps even my entire life,” Parker said.

“And while I do take these criticisms to heart, and I know that I can often not be kind, and even mean, I want everyone to know that this comes from a place of watching the horrible things that are happening in our society, like our children being mutilated or castrated.

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“So I’d like to apologize first to the board . . . but also to everyone in Take Back Alberta for not representing you in the best light by attacking people and calling them names.

“Despite the evil of the people that we are fighting, I should not stoop to childish name-calling.”

It’s a singular apology that calls the victims evil.

Barely a day after begging forgiveness from his followers, Parker posted the tweet about Poilievre and his wife.

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre and his wife Anaida
Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre and his wife Anaida wave to delegates at the Conservative Party Convention on Friday, September 8, 2023 in Quebec City. Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press

Smith is facing pressure from her own party to disown Parker. One senior player calls him “a cancer on the public discourse.”

It would be quite easy, at this point, for her to deplore what Parker says without disowning his movement.

But she went to his wedding. He says they had a friendly talk recently.

Who knows what he’d say about her?

Don Braid’s column appears regularly in the Herald

X: @DonBraid

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