REGINA - Today, Official Opposition Leader Carla Beck and Status of Women Critic Jennifer Bowes responded to the Premier’s apology for his government’s invitation of wife-killer Colin Thatcher to the Throne Speech and called for a commitment to provide operating funding for second-stage shelters for women fleeing domestic violence.
“Premier Moe’s handling of the Thatcher debacle has tarnished our province’s reputation on an international level,” said Beck. “This slow-walked apology shows just how out-of-touch this government has become. The Premier’s actions and original response left the people of Saskatchewan horrified and embarrassed. It took provincial, national and international condemnation for the Premier to finally understand that inviting a convicted murderer to his Throne Speech was a terrible mistake.”
The Premier’s apology comes after days of negative national and international headlines and condemnation from advocates for women experiencing domestic violence. He had previously downplayed the situation and the remarks of his officials, saying “I don't understand what we'd be asking to apologize for”. Moe’s Legislative Secretary said that “if anyone has a right to be [there], it’s Colin Thatcher”, and his Minister of Corrections and Policing defended the decision, saying “it doesn’t matter.”
Moe’s government had earlier proclaimed October 24 to 28 Violence Prevention Week. This year's theme, “It Starts With You, invites everyone to help promote change in their homes, families and communities.”
“Saskatchewan has the highest rate of domestic violence amongst the provinces,” said Bowes. “Words are nice, but if the government took this issue seriously, they’d act by committing to funding second-stage shelters for the many people fleeing domestic violence.”