Thursday, December 11, 2014

That "S" word again.

Among too many others, the word "sexist" trips off the tongue rather easily in this age of hyper-political correctness and sensitivity. The latest example comes from the Ontario Legislature. The issue at hand was a report from auditor general  Bonnie Lysyk critical of the government's handling of matters pertaining to electricity.

Energy Minister  Bob Chiarelli questioned the financial data in the report. "Why are my numbers more credible than hers?" he asked. "Electricity is very complex, is very difficult to understand. Some of our senior managers, in discussing these issues with some of the representatives of the auditor general's office, had the feeling they did not understand of some of the elements of it."

New Democrat leader Andrea Horwath claimed these remarks were "patronizing" and "sexist."  Progressive Conservative MPP Christine Elliott described the tone of Chiarelli's remarks as "completely condescending and sexist."

The Minister maintained that his criticism of the report was aimed at the auditor general's staff, not her personally. The auditor said she did not take offence at the comments, "I didn't even read anything into it."

When Premier Kathleen Wynne defended her minister, Horwath asked,"how can this premier, the first women premier of this province . . . not only support but pile on to this minister's arrogant and sexist behaviour."

Wynne's delightful reaction was to plead "Honest to God."

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