August 15, 2018

‘èÏPeople’s Republic of Albertastan’ T-shirts on sale after justice minister’s comments

By Karen Henderson, Postmedia News

Laura Lynn Johnston's T-shirt design
TwitterLaura Lynn Johnston’s T-shirt design

EDMONTON – T-shirts emblazoned with oil drops and ”the People’s Republic of Albertastan” are for sale online.

Their creator, graphic designer Laura Lynn Johnston from Edmonton, made a mock-up of the design Wednesday night after the comment by Justice Minister Peter MacKay made the social media rounds, in reference to the NDP sweep in the Alberta election. ”It’s Albertastan now,” he said Wednesday following a grim post-mortem with the PC caucus.

The comment outraged some Twitter denizens, inspiring Johnston’s T-shirt with optional colour choice.

”I’m not here to make money,” she said. ”People in Edmonton have a great sense of humour and it’s a lot of fun.”

Johnston was also the creative muscle behind the ”twitchy-eyed machete wielding savage” T-shirt immortalizing National Post pundit Chris Selley’s 2013 column comparing flood responses between Edmonton and Calgary.

He wrote, ”Edmonton, for example, would be a smoking hole in the ground at this point, infested with twitchy-eyed, machete-wielding savages.” His comment created a similar social media uproar. (Though in that case much of the anger was due to missing the sarcasm involved, and the t-shirts were a reaction to the reaction.)

Johnston donated the money made from that design to the Red Cross to help flood victims.

In this newest venture, she has received some criticism about the T-shirts on Twitter from people who don’t get the joke. ”They say, ‘you’re just upset because you lost.’ I voted NDP, and I used to be a card-carrying Green party supporter,” she said.

Johnston had sold about 20 T-shirts as of Thursday morning. She is selling them for $26.99 at She plans to donate the profits to the Stollery Children’s Hospital.

Social media reacted swiftly and with much sarcasm to Justice Minister Peter MacKay’s comments on the results of the Alberta election.


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