NDP Health Minister Sarah Hoffman stood in the Alberta Legislature in the Spring of 2017 and called Albertans concerned about the NDP's policies "sewer rats."
Her exact quote as recorded by the Legislative Assembly's Hansard service was: “We’re focused on hard hats. They’re spending a lot of time with sewer rats.”
It was an outrageous statement, and even the Ms. Hoffman herself recognized that she had crossed a line equating conservatives with vermin.
She issued an apology for her remarks back then, saying “I spent many years in public education (and) I encouraged students to use their words with caution and choose them wisely, and I failed to do so.”
The issue passed as Albertans found new reasons to be outraged by their NDP government, including their multi-billion dollar carbon tax, their appointment of an anti-oil zealot as co-chair of their Oil Sands Advisory Group, and their relentless attacks on Alberta business.
However, it seems that some folks weren't happy to leave the matter be, and have now attempted some revisionist history about the incident in what can only be described as a case of the media doing damage control and public relations for the NDP.
This week, two CBC reporters raised the incident with United Conservative leader Jason Kenney, and said that Minister's Hoffman's comments were in reference not to conservative Albertans, but in fact to Rebel Media.
Here is a transcript of the exchange:
There's just one problem - not once does Ms. Hoffman mention Rebel Media.
In fact, the assertion by these two CBC reporters is not only false, it is an attempt to mislead the public in such a way as to help rehabilitate the image of the NDP - they've not behaving like reporters, they're being spin doctors.
Perhaps the two CBC reporters are trying to curry favour with the NDP government in the hope of securing government appointment as press secretaries or communications advisors - or perhaps they are just blatantly biased against the UCP and in favour of the NDP.
Neither is an acceptable position for reporters paid for by tax dollars through Canada's state-owned broadcaster.
We all know that Ms. Hoffman was talking about conservative Albertans who support the UCP and oppose NDP policies like the carbon tax, not Rebel Media.
The fact that the Minister apologized in the Legislature for her remarks shows that even she knows that she crossed the line by attacking millions of Albertans.
As a group who believes that Alberta deserves better than this big-spending, high-taxing, union-controlled NDP government, Alberta Can't Wait proudly adopted the sewer rat to show that we were on the side of everyday Albertans. We produced a limited edition Alberta sewer rat button for supporters to wear to send the message that if supporting fiscal responsibility makes you a sewer rat, then we're proud to be sewer rats.
If you haven't seen them before, here's what they looked like!
The buttons proved so popular that we ran out of our original supply quickly.
Now that these two CBC reporters have brought this story back to life, we've gone back to the printers and produced another limited run of Alberta sewer rat buttons - you can ask for your button through our website here!
In the meantime, it doesn't matter what names the NDP and their media allies hurl at us over the next six months - we will not waiver in our commitment to stand up for Albertans and restore the Alberta Advantage by electing a strong, fiscally responsible government in Spring 2019.
Alberta Can't Wait!