Red Deer-Lacombe MP Blaine Calkins apologized for his tweet about Liberal MP Omar Alghabra. (File photo by Advocate staff)

Red Deer MP apologizes for tweet

Liberal MP targeted online

Red Deer-Lacombe MP Blaine Calkins apologized this week for tweeting old, discredited information that accused a Liberal MP of being a “overt Islamist.”

On Thursday Conservative MP Blaine Calkins tweeted a screen shot from a 2005 blog post in which Canadian Coalition of Democracies claimed that foreign affairs parliamentary secretary Omar Alghabra made pro-Islamist comments after winning the nomination for Mississauga Centre.

The screen shot did not show that the claims were discredited further down in the blog.

On Thursday the Conservative MP removed the tweet and thanked everyone for pointing out the poor source he posted.

“I was unsure about what I was reading, and that was the information I found. I apologize for any consternation this tweet caused,” he tweeted.

Alghabra responded on Twitter to Calkins original tweet saying “I expect this type of garbage from an online troll or bot not an MP.”

By Friday Alghabra tweeted he had just spoke to Calkins who had apologized. Calkins thanked Alghabra for being “gracious and understanding and sharing your story with me.”

“We agreed to be united in condemning promotion of poisonous suspicion and hate and we committed to working together on confronting all forms of hate and bigotry,” Algahbra tweeted about his conversation with Calkins.

The Advocate was unable to reach Calkins for comment.

Calkins’ original tweet was in response to a tweet by Conservative Senator Denis Batters about Alghabra who was interviewed on a television news show about the diplomatic feud between Canada and Saudi Arabia.

In her tweet Batters said “may have been interesting to ask him whether his birthplace being #SaudiArabi impacts this file for him.” Some interpreted the tweet as racist.

Batters also deleted her tweet and apologized to Alghabra.



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