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.

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

Just Posted

Rockslide obstructing traffic in Sunnybrae

Large boulders rolled onto Sunnybrae Canoe-Point Road in the South Shuswap.

Island road trip unkind to playoff-bound Silverbacks

As the ‘Backs hit the road, the chase for a better playoff berth in the Interior was heating up.

South Canoe Elementary made K-8 for one year

The motion was passed to keep students from making multiple transfers

Word on the street: What is your biggest pet peeve regarding cellphone use?

In light of Unplug and Play Family Literacy Week run by the… Continue reading

In photos: Reino Keski-Salmi Loppet at Larch Hills

The race saw over 700 athletes take to the ski trails

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

North Okanagan youth ready to make some NOYSE

Showcase of excellence features talents of young local performance

Canada’s basketball community mourns Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

Bryant was an 18-time NBA all-star who won five championships

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Canadian Lunar New Year celebrations dampened by coronavirus worries

But Health Minister Patty Hajdu said today that the risk of infection is low

B.C. VIEWS: New coronavirus outbreak an important reminder

Walking the line between cautious and alarmist

Communities in Bloom: Resolutions to make 2020 bloom

Along with work in the garden, Sicamous residents can help out with the annual banner project.

Snow angels: B.C. volunteers shovel for those who can’t

‘They’ve helped me make it through the rest of the winter’

Most Read