Yukon party leader Curie Dixon apologizes for raw text messages written by his party members over the weekend about Premier Sandy Silver and NDP leader Kate White.
The Prime Minister’s Office sent screen shots to the media late on Sunday, claiming that Silver had sent him messages in a group chat, which he believed was inadvertently included.
These texts contain inappropriate comments about all three leaders, including at least five references and comparisons between the sizes of their genitals.
One news item made bitter assumptions about Silver’s sexual preferences.
‘Inappropriate and rude news’
Former interim leader of the party, re-elected MLA Stacy Hazard and re-elected MLA Wade Istenko were two of those who commented on the group chat.
Dixon was also a member of the chat.
Yukon party spokesman Ted Locking said the chat with the CBC via email on Friday morning was created by a private citizen who had not been in contact with the party, so he did not know why it was created or why some individuals were added.
Dixon initially apologized to Friday in a text message, saying he was aware that Hazard and Istenko were involved in “irrelevant and rude news.” In his informal speech to Dixon Silver, he said that he had spoken with Istenko and Hazard and that they both apologized.
In a statement released Sunday evening, Silver called the behavior “unacceptable” and said his party was interested in finding out how Dixon planned to address it.
“I share these [screenshots] Yukoners need to be aware of the culture that is considered acceptable within the Yukon party with the media, ”Silver said.
White, in an interview Monday afternoon, said Silver shared the texts with her shortly after she received them on Friday.
He described them as “total”, but said that although some messages were directed towards him, the underlying issues were beyond any individual.
“I don’t think it’s just about me,” he told the CBC. “I think this is about the society we want to live in, you know? We tell our children that such ideas do not exist in school, they are not in locker rooms or on the field, and then with the same breath, these two elected leaders and they set a terrible example.
“So for me, this is disappointing, and I believe people are just as good as people.”
“This is something they thought they were saying personally, so what’s being said behind closed doors?”
White said Dixon approached him via text and phone call, but he did not hear directly from Hazard or Istenko.
The previous version of this story did not have a screen shot of the news. The CBC added the image after approaching politicians targeted in the news.
Warning: The following image is a screen shot containing crude and sexually explicit messages:
‘I feel sorry for these foolish and immature acts’
The Yukon party issued a formal apology just after midnight on Monday, just hours after Friday released its statement.
“After seeing these [comments], I immediately spoke honestly to both of them and I hope they understand how bad and professional these comments are, ”Dixon said.
Both elected officials have apologized and said they are committed to learning from the incident and “advocating for a safer and more respectable Yukon.”
As a result of these reports, Dickson said, no MLAs would be allowed to sit on any of the legislative committees, nor would they offer critical roles when the party establishes their shadow cabinet.
“This is an important opportunity for all eugenics to realize that words are important and that we must actively advocate for a respectable community,” Dixon said.
A brief apology has been extended to both MLAs who commented on the statement.
“I feel sorry for these stupid and immature acts,” Hazard said. “I apologize unconditionally and I will take lessons from this mistake to advocate for a region that is welcomed by all Yukonars.”
Wade Istenko said his actions were immature and “unacceptable.”
“I apologize for making these comments and I am very embarrassed by them. I have an obligation to learn from these mistakes.”
The CBC put forward requests to speak further with Dixon, Istenko and Hazard. All three have declined interviews.