The UCP has been under fire for their selection of the third place winner of the "Her Vision Inspires" essay contest.
Alberta's associate minister in charge of women's issues Jackie Armstrong-Homeniuk was one of the organizers and judges of the contest, and says the essay should never have been chosen. The essay had elements of sexism, racism, and white nationalist ideology.
"Over the last several hours, some of my caucus and cabinet colleagues have raised concerns with me about how such an essay could be selected for an award. As the Minister for the Status of Women, I want to emphasize that I do not support rhetoric that in any way diminishes the importance and contributions of more than half of Alberta’s population," Armstrong-Homeniuk said in a written response.
"It’s clear that the process failed, and I apologize for my role in that. The selection of this particular essay and awarding it with third prize was a failure on my part as the head of the judging panel. Alberta’s government values the contributions of women and newcomers, and we will continue working towards removing barriers to equality so that all Albertans can enjoy opportunities and success in our province."
The author, identified only as S. Silver, won third prize in the "Her Vision Inspires" contest. The original link showcasing the three winning essays was taken down after screenshots of the essay were posted to Twitter by NDP Women and LGBTQ2S Critic Janis Irwin.
The essay, written by somebody only identified as "S. Silver" states that "women are not exactly equal to men," and that giving birth to children is more important than breaking into careers traditionally dominated by men.
"While it is sadly popular nowadays to think that the world would be better off without humans, or that Albertan children are unnecessary as we can import foreigners to replace ourselves, this is a sickly mentality that amounts to a drive for cultural suicide," the essay reads.
It adds that women should be given medals for having two or more children.
At press time, Armstrong-Homeniuk did not respond to a request for further clarification as to what went into the judging process, or who was involved in judging the essays.
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