Former Manitoba MP Candice Bergen says comments out of context in leaked recording

An audio recording obtained by the Manitoba NDP party highlight comments made by former MP Candice Bergen, who stated that many young people have been brainwashed by education institutions.

Bergen, co-chair of the provincial Progressive Conservative party election campaign, spoke at a private party event at the legislature on Wednesday night. In the 24-second recording, she also said that many young people are “entitled” and “disengaged” in politics, feeling they don’t need to “do anything” because it would not matter anyway.

The New Democrats, in a press release on May 25, said the comments were offensive and a direct attack on public education in the province. MLA Lisa Naylor also wrote that “schools and educators do not brainwash kids, they educate them.”

In response, Bergen released a statement on May 26 stating that she commends “young, service-driven people for their willingness to stand up for what they believe, even when they may receive negativity from their peers.” She further noted that her statements were taken out of context.

“What they (the NDP) aren’t providing in their recording is the admiration I shared for all young people who get involved into politics – regardless of political stripe. Many young people are discouraged from openly political in a multitude of settings,” she wrote.

“(…) I am extremely concerned that youth – who look up to political leaders could possibly have an NDP premier with a history of half-truths, violence against women and issues with his temper that still come through today. While some people may want to shove that reality under the rug, I simply can’t stand idle and pretend that it’s OK.”

Bergen is the former federal interim Conservative leader in 2022. She resigned her seat in the House of Commons last February and has since joined the Manitoba PC’s ahead of fall’s provincial election.

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