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.

canadian politicsCloverdalefederal election 2019Federal PoliticsLangley

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Coastal GasLink gives $100K to United Way efforts in Northern B.C.

Organization’s COVID-19 Relief Fund benefits seniors in isolation, among others

UPDATE: First presumptive case of COVID-19 in Prince Rupert

Doctor says it was a visitor, Northern Health won’t confirm

Fisheries and Oceans Canada lifts at-sea observer requirements due to COVID-19

Fisheries Management Order went into effect April 2 and will remain for 45 days

Some Smithers businesses may re-open sooner rather than later

Weekly Chamber of Commerce video conference focuses on business concern amid COVID-19

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

COVID-19: 4 new deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

RCMP call on kids to name latest foal recruits

The baby horses names are to start with the letter ‘S’

As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic

Non-commercial land crossing dipped by 95%, air travel dropped by 96 per cent, according to the CBSA

Logan Boulet Effect: Green Shirt Day calls on Canadians to become organ donors

While social distancing, the day also honours the 16 lives lost in the 2018 Humboldt Broncos Crash

COMMENTARY: Knowing where COVID-19 cases are does not protect you

Dr. Bonnie Henry explains why B.C. withholds community names

B.C. wide burning restrictions come into effect April 16

‘Larger open burns pose an unnecessary risk and could detract from wildfire detection’

Most Read