Health minister apologizes for ‘sewer rats’ remark about Opposition

Accused Opposition of hanging out with ‘sewer rats’

  • Mar. 14, 2017 6:13 p.m.

EDMONTON — Alberta’s deputy premier is apologizing for a comment in which she accused the Opposition Wildrose party of hanging out with “sewer rats.”

Sarah Hoffman said she was sorry on the record in the legislature on Tuesday and repeated her apology later outside the house.

“I apologize to members of the assembly and also to anyone else who was offended by those remarks,” said Hoffman, who also serves as health minister.

“I spent many years in public education (and) I encouraged students to use their words with caution and choose them wisely, and I failed to do so.”

Hoffman said it was an off-the-cuff remark.

“There’s no excuse,” she said. “Any time you start trying to justify using words that are hurtful and full of vitriol, it only perpetuates the issue further.

“I have certainly been on the receiving end of many of those. I wish I would have gotten a clean apology, and I’m doing that as well.”

Hoffman made the comment during an exchange in question period Monday with Wildrose whip Jason Nixon.

Nixon accused Premier Rachel Notley’s NDP of ignoring the hardship their economic policies are having on Alberta families by urging those paying the carbon tax to make better choices to reduce their carbon footprint.

“For a government that has shown such gross incompetence, when is the premier going to ask herself to make better choices?” asked Nixon.

Hoffman stood up and told the house the NDP is working to help families.

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