Krueger won't apologize for insults

Conservative opponent Peter Sharp calls for apology after MLA calls Tories 'unmitigated morons'

Kamloops Daily News
February 27, 2013 01:00 AM

MLA Kevin Krueger wears a pink anti-bullying T-shirt while speaking to reporters Wednesday in Victoria.

Political peers believe outspoken Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Kevin Krueger went too far when he referred to B.C. Conservatives as "unmitigated morons" and "scum."

Peter Sharp, the Conservatives' candidate in Kamloops-South, called Krueger a bully Wednesday and demanded he apologize for his comments.

"It was wrong for him to say what he said in the way he said it. He came across as a bully," Sharp told The Daily News.

But Krueger has no intention of apologizing, saying he was standing up for a friend and colleague who was mistreated.

"That's been my reputation all my life," said Krueger.

Krueger fired off an email to the B.C. Conservative Party Tuesday afternoon when a Tory press release called Jobs Minister Pat Bell an "unmitigated disaster."

The press release stated Bell should be suspended over allegations he interfered in a bidding process.

Krueger's response was "Pat Bell is beloved in Prince George, for good reason. There is not one of you scum worthy to tie his shoes - nor tall enough."

He closed by saying, "What idiots you are."

The allegations against Bell are from two B.C. Liberal insiders who claim he acted in bad faith during the bid process for a multimillion-dollar government contract, reported the Vancouver Sun.

Questions have been raised about Bell in connection with the Prince George-based Wood Innovation and Design Centre.

Sharp said Krueger's language is unacceptable for an MLA and insulting to the both the B.C. Conservatives and his constituents.

He wondered what Krueger was thinking when he sent the email in the first place.

"When you're using the official government email address, and using your name and saying you're Kevin Krueger, MLA, what do you expect?" he said.

"I know Kevin, and I know he can be loud and boisterous, but I've always respected him because of his position and I think he did a lot of good things in his time. But that doesn't mean, because he's retiring from politics, that he's going out in a blaze of glory."

Krueger admitted he used stronger language than normal, but doesn't appreciate the attack on Bell, who was recently diagnosed with a rare form of aneurysm.

"I reacted really strongly," he said, adding Cummins' ambition to be premier shouldn't cause him to stoop to such attacks.

"Pat Bell in an extremely honourable man."

And Krueger is confident his actions won't hurt his intended successor in Kamloops-South Thompson Liberal candidate Todd Stone.

"Todd Stone doesn't carry any responsibility for the language I choose," he said.

Stone couldn't be reached for comment, but others running for the riding seat had more than a few words to say about Krueger.

Kamloops-South Thompson New Democrat Tom Friedman said Krueger's remarks are a prime example of the hyper partisanship he expects from the Liberals.

"What we've pledged to do is discuss the issues and make sure we're respectful of each other," he said. "What we've seen from Kevin Krueger is not a good sign for a very positive campaign."

Kathy Kendall, Friedman's Kamloops-North Thompson counterpart, agreed. She said statements like Krueger's turn people off politics.

"It's clearly, clearly inappropriate," she said. "When people hear something like that . . . it turns people off and it's why we have to take a different approach."

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