Alberta mom with caring message smeared by media

include parents banner

“Include Parents”

Who knew such a simple message, motivated by a mother’s deep love for family, could be so twisted and misconstrued into something controversial?

Maureen Prince, a mother from Medicine Hat, wrote about the inspiration behind the button she created in a blog post, concluding with the following words:

We wish that every child, struggling with any issue, would have the joy of his parent enfolding him in arms of comfort. That together, child and parent could walk the path resolving life’s difficulties. To those children without that, we wish you success and joy as you walk a difficult path.

 Life is hard, parents help us navigate it.

 And so my friends, this is a love story. The love of parents for their children.

Maureen drove 6 hours from Medicine Hat to Edmonton so she could be recognized yesterday as a guest in the Legislature where her MLA Drew Barnes spoke highly of Maureen’s important work in supporting families in her community (see Hansard for Monday April 11th, page 6).

However, unfortunately we live in a time when caring, respectful and common-sense parents – advocating for the involvement of parents in the lives of their own children – are misrepresented and vilified by both our legislators and the media.

First of all, PC-turned-NDP-MLA Sandra Jansen took to Twitter during Question Period in the Legislature yesterday and made this comment about Maureen Prince’s buttons:

Sandra Jansen Include Parents

How Sandra Jansen can take a simple message of “Include Parents” and construe it to suggest “outing gay kids” would be laughable if it wasn’t so destructive.

And destructive it has become.

From there, Lori Backman, a former public school board trustee, took it upon herself to troll Maureen’s Facebook page. There she found this post Maureen Prince made a week ago:

Maureen Prince FB post

Lori Baukman, based on alarmingly poor reading comprehension skills, took to Twitter to reference Maureen’s Facebook post and conclude that Maureen “equates GSAs with residential schools and eugenics”:

Maureen Prince Lori Baukman tweet

One would hope that someone’s random trolling and poor reading of Maureen’s Facebook post from a week ago would be mostly harmless – except for the fact that, for some bizarre reason, the media then picked up on this Lori Backman tweet and made it a centrepiece for their “news”.

This morning an article by CHAT News, Medicine Hat’s local news outlet, appeared with the headline “Local Wildrose president under fire for comparing GSA’s to residential schools”:

Maureen Prince CHAT News headline01

After many complaints – including my own – the article headline was changed and then eventually taken down completely.

Maureen Prince CHAT News headline02

maureen prince CHAT article taken down

But that was still not the end of it.

This afternoon CBC reporter Michelle Bellafontaine released an article with the headline “Wildrose constituency president criticized for comparing GSAs to residential schools”.

Maureen Prince CBC article headline.jpg

In the article the CBC reporter even featured comments from the Deputy Premier Sarah Hoffman and a residential school survivor who each weighed in on the “controversy”:

“To say that is the same as residential schools where children were stripped from their culture, from their communities, often faced physical assault, sexual assault, loss of language and culture, I think that shows just how out of touch some of the leaders (are) within the Wildrose Party, including this riding association president.” (Sarah Hoffman)

…Prince’s statement drew backlash from commenters on her Facebook post.

“Comparing a GSA to residential schools is despicable,” said Rochelle Knibb. “As the daughter of two survivors, I hope you never know the pain that that period of history has caused families.

The problem is that the entire CBC article, including the above comment from the Deputy Premier, is based on an assumption that isn’t even true!

Where does Maureen Prince ever directly compare GSAs to residential schools?

And an even better question:
Since when does “news” become taking screenshots of unsuspecting citizens and then misrepresenting them in headlines?

As I have watched this evolving “news” through the course of the day, I have become increasingly disturbed.

The whole situation reminds me of a game of “telephone” in elementary school that has gone horribly wrong.

If journalists truly wanted to do a story about the inspiration behind the buttons or Maureen Prince’s specific stance on GSAs, then why wouldn’t they ask her directly instead of assuming and inferring her stance based on a personal Facebook post she happened to make a week ago?

Maureen is a mother who is advocating for the involvement of parents in their children’s lives.

She created some buttons and made the 12 hour return trip between Medicine Hat to Edmonton to bring her message to our legislators and to be honoured for her work.

But instead of being lauded for her support of children and commitment to championing the cause of strong families, she has been smeared in the media for something she never even said.

If journalists are now concerned with reporting on social media posts then why not choose to highlight the ones I have featured in my new video questioning the Education Minister how an education consultant – directly entrusted with the care of K-12 children across Alberta and employed by Alberta Education – uses his social media to mock parents on his Facebook page, post commercials of naked young people who kiss erotically and depict Christians as Nazis?

Or why not highlight the fact that neither MLA Sandra Jansen or University of Alberta professor & “safe and caring” schools expert Dr. Kristopher Wells – both who are all too eager to speak out against certain bullying and discrimination – have yet to publicly denounce association with the person who today tweeted the following reply to both of them specifically advocating for the extermination of an entire swath of conservatives in Alberta:

Maureen Prince KW eugenics WRP

It is about time that our MLAs and journalists start focusing on the real controversies and stop creating controversies in order to smear parents who just want to be included in their children’s lives.

Here are some contact names and emails if you would like to demand a higher standard of professionalism from those hired by taxpayer dollars in our Legislature and our media. Feel free to cc me at informedalbertans@gmail.com to help track the number of total complaints:

Sandra Jansen: calgary.northwest@assembly.ab.ca
CBC Michelle Bellefontaine:  michelle.Bellefontaine@cbc.ca
CBC Senior Producer Digital at CBC Edmonton: ashley.geddes@cbc.ca
CBC Managing Editor CBC Edmonton: gary.cunliffe@cbc.ca

******************

UPDATE – Medicine Hat’s local news station CHAT News has re-posted an edited version of their earlier article using a different web address, available on Facebook and on their website.

April 11, 11 p.m. – Maureen Prince also just posted the following comments on the Concerned Parents of School District #76 blog:

Just got back today from a 7 hour back road trip from the Legislature. Juggling 3 children under 5. A crazy trip! So sorry James Wood from CHAT doesn’t understand when I told him I’d get back to him in a day or two. My family obligations are more important than his schedule! There is no way I’m having a conversation in sketchy cell service so that sentences are misinterpreted and misunderstood. Even though my husband called CHAT personally to inform them I was out of communication, they fictionally reported I was avoiding them. This is irresponsible and incompetent. Facts are the hallmark of good journalism. We live in a democracy where the exchange of ideas is supposed to be done with civility. I am happy to respond to competent journalists. Thank you to the many, many people supporting and praying for me and our parents. You are amazing!! Thank you!!

 

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12 comments

  1. Alison Beil

    Seems evident that Jason Kenney, Brian Jean, Maureen Prince, and any competent medical doctors who correctly inform the Canadian public, that no one can choose his or her DNA nor legally identify accurately as more than one sex, or changed sex, or name, on birth certificates or any legal government-issued ID in any province, territory or state, must inform the shamefully incompetent delusional and perverse CBC media, Sandra Jansen, Lori Baukman, and Kris Wells and their associate “twits” – that encouraging anyone to apply for any GSA or gay club-member status via any school or government institution is an obvious attempt to out themselves as homophile and pedophile perverts while attempting to recruit children into extortion and prostitution for their own “LGBTQ” political agenda.

    The Government of Alberta should have no legal right to use any electronic devices of their own to “twitter” during Question Period. They are being paid by Alberta tax-payers to govern – not to tweet. Why has the Speaker of the Legislature or Sgt. at Arms failed to collect all their electronic devices prior to bringing any session of the legislature to order? Why have the Lieutenant Governors of every province and territory or Governor General failed to order that all personally held electronic devices must be banned from the House of Commons representatives and and members of Legislative Assemblies while those are in session?

    Jensan and anyone else using “twitter” during an ordered session of the Legislature should be fired – likewise anyone in Parliament while it is in session. The rest of us are not permitted to drive to work or use such devices while performing employment duties! Such irresponsible persons (even if they are not perverse in sexual orientation) are obviously not entrustable to pay full attention to their duties and obligations to children. Their obligation is to protect the public interest and work for betterment of civil society. It helps no one they promote dangerous ideas and controversy while being non-accountable. They are misleading children to attempt to self-identity inaccurately – encouraged by such idiots as “dr. K. Wells” to seek gay-club wanna-be memberships through schools or colleges or universities. Responsible parents who help fund such institutions are also doing all they can legally to help rid society of such delusional perversions and “opinion-based” pseudoscience. Government and the CBC should be helping RCMP and responsible police shut down child-trafficking pimping, prostitution, pornography and organized drug crime – and politician fraud.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wren

    Thank you for this article. I agree, this has gotten beyond ridiculous! Jansen, Hoffman, and others like them are smearing anyone who dares to stand up for children. And the media is happy to do their dirty work! But we see what’s going on, and thanks to pages like this one, we can point people to fair reporting.

    Like

  3. Evelyn Siebert

    Talk about fake news! Shame on you Sandra Jansen, CHAT news and CBC for your sleazy twist on this mother’s efforts to parent her children responsibly and protect them from the brainwashing tactics employed by our Minister of Education as he seeks to usurp the rights of parents in our province.

    Like

  4. Cheri

    This is horrible. Just watched QP from yesterday. I am shocked! Also shocked by tweet – Just Me, tried to find it to report it, has it been?

    Like

    • informedalbertans

      Hi Nunyo, Could you explain how the message “Include Parents” only pertains to those with religious affiliation? Don’t you think that non-religious parents also want to be included in their children’s lives as well?

      Like

  5. Sabine Brasok

    My youngest (of 5) is graduating this year. Since my eldest started in 1994, the education system has morphed into a grotesque, mind-numbing, spurious gong show with school boards, trustees, teachers and principals wandering around like characters in a zombie apocalypse movie. One of my daughters and I ran into a teacher of hers from junior high (she’ll be 21). She asked him about the school and he just looked sad and defeated about how much it had changed. I’m just glad we made it out alive. Based on how we raised our kids and how public education is being destroyed, I’m sure they’ll join the home-schooling crowd for their kids.

    Like

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