Update 03/30/23, 10:25 a.m. – Dave Prisco, Director of Communications for the UCP says the party believes in parental choice in education and parents know what is best for their children.
“However, the comments made in the video do not accurately reflect our policies and our efforts to work with local and provincial education partners to protect our children and put their education first. As a result, we have asked the candidate to take the video down,” stated Prisco.
The Alberta NDP is calling for Premier Danielle Smith to drop Torry Tanner, UCP Candidate for Lethbridge-West.
The call comes after a video surfaced of Tanner suggesting Alberta teachers are exposing school children, even those in Kindergarten, to pornographic materials.
During the 51-second video, Tanner says Alberta teachers are helping children secretly change their gender identity without parental consent or knowledge. She goes on to call on parents to get involved to keep their children safe from what she calls, “outrageously inappropriate behavior.”
Both NDP Candidate for Lethbridge-West, Shannon Phillips, and NDP’s 2SLGBTQ+ Critic Janis Irwin issued a joint statement in response to Tanner’s video.
“The baseless claims made by Torry Tanner are dangerous and harmful, and they do not represent the Lethbridge that we know and love,” says Phillips and Irwin.
“We are inclusive and respectful, and Tanner should take the time to learn more about the community she is hoping to represent.”
“These comments are more evidence that Danielle Smith and her team are extreme,” says the NDP duo.
The response to the video on social media was swift, with even former Education Minister, Thomas Lukaszuk weighing in.
“Lake of Fire – The Sequel,” wrote Lukaszuk on Twitter. Referring to controversial comments made in 2012 by a Wildrose candidate, Allen Hunsperger under then Wildrose Party Leader Danielle Smith. Comments that many pundits agree cost the Wildrose Party the election.
Mix News has reached out to the UCP as well as the Alberta Teachers Association for comment.