Victoria La Vallée MLA Chuck Chiasson is calling on Education Minister Dominic Cardy to apologize after attacking one of the province’s leading advocates for inclusive education.
Krista Carr has spent more than two decades advocating for the rights of people with intellectual disabilities. She has worked for the New Brunswick Association for Community Living for 21 years, and served as Executive Director for 16. For the past 3 years, Krista has served as the CEO of the Canadian Association for Community Living and is one of the country’s leading advocates for persons with intellectual disabilities. She has been praised for her work, being called “visionary” among other things by those familiar with her work.
Carr has expressed concern about the minister’s approach to his recently announced review on inclusion, questioning the impact it might have on those she has been advocating for over the past two decades.
The minister, who in the past has shown a thin skin when anyone criticizes his approach, quickly escalated things into an ugly spat on twitter.
Carr shared her fear that this review of inclusion, the fifth in 25 years, as she points out, could threaten advancements made for the inclusion of people living with a disability. Cardy responded in a tone that has become all too familiar.
“Rubbish. You’re fearmongering. Depressingly irresponsible,” the minister fired back at Carr. His comments didn’t get much better after that.
“The lack of respect this minister shows others in the face of criticism is appalling,” said Chiasson, the Opposition Liberal critic for education. “Anyone that dares to disagree with him he takes as license to launch personal attacks.
“Ms. Carr is one of this province’s leading voices on the topic of inclusion. I’m not sure why he feels so threatened when someone decides to challenge him. Maybe it’s a feeling of inadequacy on the minister’s part.
“This is not the first time the minister has launched a personal attack on someone who disagrees with him. He owes Ms. Carr an apology. If he won’t do that then maybe the Premier can show leadership and apologize on the minister’s behalf.
Chiasson said this type of behavior has become a pattern for the Higgs cabinet.
“We’ve got an education minister that’s a twitter bully. An agriculture minister who thinks it’s perfectly fine to jump out of his car and start yelling at roadworkers. And we have a health minister who is on record as saying he’s tired of listening to people.
“The premier doesn’t seem to care. And now he’s asking us to trust him; that he’s going to listen to people on health care? The only people this government is interested in listening to are those who agree with them. It’s pathetic and it needs to stop.”