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

CRD gives final approval for three new wheelchair-accessible trails

The CRD secured $100,000 through a rural dividend grant and matched an additional $30,000

WildSafeBC hires new co-ordinator for Cariboo region

Mareike Moore said the main message is keeping wildlife wild, communities safe

Are you sending your children back to school?

The weekly web poll for the 100 Mile Free Press

Parkside Art Gallery reopens to the public on June 2

Claudia Rings raises $2,500 from mask sales for Parkside Art Gallery

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

Bateman program encourages people to sketch outside, connect with nature

#MyNatureSketch initiative encourages Canadians to become ‘bright-eyed three year olds’

Be cautious expanding COVID-19 bubble, Dr. Bonnie Henry tells B.C.

Senior homes stay off-limits as schools, businesses reopen

How to safely drink water in areas impacted by flooding

Quality and safety of drinking water can be affected during and after floods

Most Read