Michelle Bellefontaine, CBC, August 9, 2022
Alberta’s associate minister in charge of women’s issues Jackie Armstrong-Homeniuk says that an essay with sexist, racist and white nationalist elements never should have been awarded a prize in a contest for young women launched earlier this year.
The author, identified only as S. Silver, won third prize in the “Her Vision Inspires” contest.
The essay states that women are not equal to men and that their ability to bear children takes priority over trying to break into male-dominated careers.
The contest, which was a partnership between the legislative assembly and the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians Canadian Region, asked women between the ages of 17 and 25 to describe their “unique vision for Alberta” and what they would do if elected an MLA.
The author adds that women who have given birth to two children or more should receive medals and financial incentives to prevent the “import” of “foreigners to replace ourselves.”
“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,” Silver writes.
“The first rule of health for any biological population is their ability to reproduce and pass along their way of life into the future.”
The essay was removed from the Alberta legislative assembly website Monday night after NDP MLA Janis Irwin posted screenshots of the essay on social media.
Rakhi Pancholi, the NDP MLA for Edmonton-Whitemud, said no one from the NDP caucus was involved. She demanded the government release the names of the MLAs who were so they can explain how the essay was chosen in the first place.
“This has to be the speech that we condemn, not celebrate.”
Lise Gotell, professor of women’s and gender studies at the University of Alberta, said the views promulgated in the essay about providing medals and money to encourage women to have more children reflect programs in Nazi Germany.
She said the essay suggests a woman’s job is to make babies “to shore up the race.”
“This essay is not only sexist, it is also quite racist,” she said.