A copy of the letter.

A copy of the letter.

Grade 6 class sends letter critical of rude politicians in Alberta legislature

Staff from a Central Alberta school, disgusted by the language during question period at the Alberta legislature, is refusing to take students back to see the daily dialogue between the government and opposition.

Staff from a Central Alberta school, disgusted by the language during question period at the Alberta legislature, is refusing to take students back to see the daily dialogue between the government and opposition.

Tom Stones, a teacher at Innisfail Middle School, wrote a letter to the legislature following a combative question period his Grade 6 students witnessed. The letter, read in the legislature by Speaker Gene Zwozdesky, outlines how disgusted and disappointed the teachers and students were by the “behaviour and lack of respect shown by our elected representatives.”

The trip to the legislature is part of the school’s social studies curriculum. It took place on Nov. 5, 2013. Stones said they had prepared students for attending the legislature, talking about what to expect. On their trip, they had a mock legislature session and a tour of the building.

“Reiterated by the people there (was) ‘This is where important business takes place,’ ” said Stones. “Then we went into question period and it didn’t look like that at all.”

The letter references one incident where a member said “suck and blow,” during question period.

According to Hansard for the day, Progressive Conservative MP Doug Griffiths, minister of Service, responded to a question from Opposition Leader Danielle Smith with “It’s amazing how the opposition finds the ability to suck and blow every single day.”

“We talked with the kids about it and they felt it wasn’t right,” said Stones.

The group of teachers on the trip to the legislature don’t feel comfortable going back for question period.

Innisfail-Sylvan Lake Wildrose MLA Kerry Towle said on Wednesday that the day the students visited was a particularly raucus one.

“Question period traditionally is a very heated, very emotional, very theatrical part of session,” said Towle. “However, it does concern me when you have cabinet ministers talking about sucking and blowing, I could understand how that could be offensive.

“Every day is not like that. There are many days when question period, while it is heated, is very respectful.”

Towle said that at the end of the day politicians still can get along no matter which side of the legislature they sit on.

“For that 45 minutes there is a lot of banter back and forth, but we all leave the house and go into committee,” said Towle. “Once question period is done, life goes on. I would not not say ‘Hello’ to someone in the hallway. I don’t leave there and hate my job and I don’t leave there feeling like I was bullied.”

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer Rebels forward Jayden Grubbe is one of three Rebels on the NHL Central Scouting players to watch list for the 2021 NHL Draft. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Rebels seek consistency ahead of matchup with Hitmen

The Red Deer Rebels had to deal with a pang of regret… Continue reading

Quinn Mason died from an opioid overdose at the age of 23 in June 2020. (Contributed photo)
Central Alberta mother whose son died from overdose advocates for ‘change’

It’s been about nine months since her son died from an overdose,… Continue reading

Health Minister Tyler Shandro said Thursday that the province was ready to move forward with Phase 2A and B in the coming weeks. (Photo by Paul Taillon/Office of the Premier)
Majority of Albertans to receive first shot before June 30: Shandro

Shandro says all Albertans should be offered the COVID-19 vaccine by June 30

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw acknowledged that Friday would be one year since the first case of COVID-19 was identified in the province. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Three more Red Deer COVID-19 deaths, 331 active cases in Alberta

Red Deer is down to 362 active cases of the virus

Alberta’s Jobs, Economy and Innovation Minister Doug Schweitzer spoke on Thursday by webinar to Red Deer Chamber of Commerce members. (Screenshot by Advocate staff).
Alberta’s economic diversification is already underway, says Jobs Minister

From the geothermal to the TV industry, new jobs will be created, said Doug Schweitzer

Bryson, six, and Mara, eight, play with puppies from Dogs With Wings Saturday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
WATCH: Dogs With Wings introduces Red Deer program

A program that trains puppies to be certified service, autism, facility and… Continue reading

Quebec Premier François Legault chairs a virtual news conference Thursday, March 4, 2021 in Montreal. The premiers from the left are: John Horgan, B.C.; Jason Kenney, Alberta; Scott Moe, Saskatchewan; Legault, Quebec; Brian Pallister, Manitoba; Doug Ford, Ontario; and Blaine Higgs, New Brunswick. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Premiers reiterate demand for $28-billion increase in health transfers from Ottawa

Premiers reiterate demand for $28-billion increase in health transfers from Ottawa

The Edmonton Law Courts building is shown on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. An Alberta pastor accused of holding Sunday services that violated COVID-19 rules is appealing his bail conditions. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Jailed Alberta pastor should be able to lead services until his trial: lawyer

Jailed Alberta pastor should be able to lead services until his trial: lawyer

Seniors arrive for their COVID-19 vaccination at a clinic in Olympic Stadium in Montreal on March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Premiers blame Ottawa for delayed COVID-19 shots; Ontario pharmacies to offer jabs

Premiers blame Ottawa for delayed COVID-19 shots; Ontario pharmacies to offer jabs

Actors, clockwise from left, Luke Bilyk, Aislinn Paul, Alex Steeler, Melinda Shankar, Annie Clark, Jordan Todosey, Jahmil French and Munro Chambers from "Degrassi: The Next Generation," are shown at a screening event, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012, at the Wellmont Theater in Montclair, N.J. Friends of French say he was a gifted 'true artist' who 'wanted to be great'THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP Photo/StarPix, Dave Allocca
Friends of Jahmil French say he was a gifted ‘true artist’ who ‘wanted to be great’

Friends of Jahmil French say he was a gifted ‘true artist’ who ‘wanted to be great’

FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, rioters storm the Capitol, in Washington. At least 10 Ohioans have been charged in connection with the deadly insurrection at the U.S Capitol after being identified through social media and surveillance footage to the FBI. The group includes people linked to the Oath Keepers militia group who have been indicted on charges that they planned and coordinated with one another in the attack. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)
Capitol Police chief appeals for National Guard to stay

Capitol Police chief appeals for National Guard to stay

People gather on high ground and check for any sign of a tsunami near Whangarei, New Zealand, Friday, March 5, 2021. A powerful magnitude 8.1 earthquake struck in the ocean off the coast of New Zealand prompting thousands of people to evacuate and triggering tsunami warnings across the South Pacific. (Karena Cooper/New Zealand Herald via AP)
Powerful quake hits off New Zealand, prompting evacuations

Powerful quake hits off New Zealand, prompting evacuations

FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020 file photo, students discard food at the end of their lunch period as part of a lunch waste composting program at an elementary school in Connecticut. A United Nations report released on Thursday, March 4, 2021 estimates 17% of the food produced globally each year is wasted. That amounts to 931 million tons of food, or about double what researchers believed was being wasted a decade ago. And most of the waste — or 61% — happens in households, while food service accounts for 26% and retailers account for 13%. (Dave Zajac/Record-Journal via AP)
7% of food production globally wasted, UN report estimates

7% of food production globally wasted, UN report estimates

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wedneday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Efficacy figures of COVID-19 vaccines don’t tell the whole story: experts

Efficacy figures of COVID-19 vaccines don’t tell the whole story: experts

Most Read