Tamara Jansen. (Langley Advance Times files)

Langley Conservative candidate stays quiet after blackface controversy

Tamara Jansen has not spoken to the media since Thursday

Cloverdale-Langley City candidate Tamara Jansen has not spoken to the media since photos were circulated of performers in blackface at events held at her family’s greenhouses in recent years.

After photos of people made up in blackface to play Black Peter, or Zwarte Piet, at Sinterklaas celebrations were released online by the comedy persona Ed the Sock, multiple news organizations, including the Langley Advance Times, CBC, and local radio stations, attempted to contact Jansen or her constituency office for comment.

Attempts by the Advance Times to reach Jansen included emailing, texting, and calling her campaign office.

Jansen’s campaign’s Facebook page does not have any posts addressing the controversy, but has updated regularly with posts about the candidate out doorknocking or meeting the public over the weekend.

A federal Conservative spokesperson confirmed the events were held at one of Jansen’s family greenhouses in recent years and that Jansen attended, but did not wear blackface. The Conservative statement attacked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for his own past blackface incidents, which came to light last week and included dressing as “Aladdin” with heavy makeup in 2001, along with at least two other incidents in the early 1990s.

The Advance Times contacted the campaign office again on Monday and the person who answered the phone said Jansen would be too busy to speak with reporters that day.

The Sinterklaas celebrations have taken place among Dutch-Canadian communities in the Lower Mainland for decades, but the largest celebration, hosted until 2011 at the New Westminster Quay, left that venue in 2011 after controversy over whether or not the Zwarte Piet figure is offensive to black people.

READ MORE: Cloverdale-Langley City candidate attended event with blackface characters

The character is seen as traditionally representing a Moor, or a person from North Africa, but is performed by a white person in black or brown makeup.

Recent Sinterklaas celebrations in the Fraser Valley have seen fewer Black Peter figures in blackface, with most of the performers in colourful makeup including orange, purple, and green.

Just Posted

Warning issued after several overdoses in Castlegar

Interior Health says the overdoses appear to be the result of cocaine contaminated with fentanyl.

Dream come true: sleep centre opens in Castlegar

Castlegar centre offers consultations and sleep lab tests.

Kootenay-Columbia candidates attend Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce 2019 election forum

About 120 people attended the Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce 2019 election forum on Oct. 16 at the Prince Charles Theatre.

Hundreds turn out for Singh, NDP candidate rally in Penticton

The messaging was clear, NDP “chooses you”

Alberta man pleads guilty, fined for hunting without a licence in North Island

It’s the responsibility of each hunter or angler to know whether they are considered a B.C. Resident.

B.C. mayor apologizes for removal of Queen’s portrait from council chambers

‘I prefer to be inclusive of the many aspects of our history’

Alcohol a possible factor in crash that killed 17-year-old girl near Williams Lake

A pickup truck left the road and rolled over on Highway 20 on the weekend

Rare bird spotted in Victoria draws enthusiasts from across the continent

It’s the first time a yellow-browed warbler has been reported on the mainland of North America

B.C. woman must pay $1,000 after unleashed dog bites another

Owner should never have left Bibi unattended, tribunal member wrote

Climate activist Greta Thunberg’s mural defaced in Edmonton

The eyes on the portrait were blacked out

Report suggests new BC Ferries terminal near YVR

Metro Vancouver currently has two ferry terminals at northern and southern reaches

B.C. scouting group’s tent destroyed by black bear on Thanksgiving

The Richmond-based Sea Dragon Sea Scouts were camping at Mount Seymour Provincial Park

Most Read