'That’s not what we stand for': Premier Moe facing criticism for tweet showing confederate flag at charity event
The Saskatchewan division of the Canadian Mental Health Association was in damage control mode after Premier Scott Moe tweeted a picture of a car with a confederate flag on it, at a fundraising event for the organization.
The tweet came from the Parkside Community Club’s annual auction fundraiser. This year’s auction theme was inspired by The Dukes of Hazzard.
The car in question was inspired by the “General Lee,” a car from the television show with a confederate flag painted on the roof.
Every yr the Parkside Community Club puts on a demolition derby raising $ to put back into Parkside & surrounding communities— Scott Moe (@PremierScottMoe) July 22, 2019
Recently a charity car auction has been added: in 2018 the Lightning McQueen benefitted @STARSambulance & on 7/27 the General Lee will benefit @CMHA_SK pic.twitter.com/9QT4Odj6bI
CMHA said it commends the club for the fundraising efforts, but it was not consulted about it and only found out about the car on Tuesday morning.
(1 of 3)— CMHA SK (@CMHA_SK) July 23, 2019
While CMHA_Sk is extremely grateful for the support shown by the Parkside Community Club, we were not consulted about this fundraising effort and had no input in the design of the car. CMHA_Sk would never condone the use of what is now considered a hate symbol.
“I don't want people associating that type of imagery like the confederate flag with CMHA,” said Phyllis O’Connor, the executive director of the CMHA. “That’s not what we stand for. We are a key value of inclusion and that’s what we need to have out there and people need to understand that.”
Kerry Peterson, a spokesperson for the Parkside Demolition Derby, located west of Prince Albert apologized for painting the confederate flag on the car, and it is focused on the fundraiser taking place on Saturday.
"[The] Confederate flag, while it has its own meanings, none of those meanings had anything to do with it going on the car other than it was on the car and the show tried to paint it exactly the same," said Peterson.
Moe responded to the criticism in a statement to CTV News.
“I shared these photos to support the Parkside Community Club’s longstanding effort to raise funds for local organizations, charities and families as well as to support the work of the Canadian Mental Health Association -Saskatchewan Division,” said Moe.
“In doing so, it was certainly not my intention to offend anyone or to endorse the Confederate flag and what it symbolizes.”
With files from CTV's Creeson Agecoutay