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'Wasn't the appropriate response': Christine Tell acknowledges Colin Thatcher comments

Minister Christine Tell speaks to the media on throne speech day inside the rotunda of the Saskatchewan Legislative building. (GarethDillistone/CTVNews) Minister Christine Tell speaks to the media on throne speech day inside the rotunda of the Saskatchewan Legislative building. (GarethDillistone/CTVNews)

Christine Tell, the minister of corrections and policing, acknowledged Premier Scott Moe’s apology after she came under fire for her comments regarding Colin Thatcher’s invitation to the throne speech.

Her comments, in which she stated, “It doesn’t matter, he has a right to be here, just like anybody else. He is a free citizen,” stirred up controversy among other MLAs and members of the public.

During Question Period on Tuesday, NDP MLA Nicole Saurer asked Tell to apologize for her “ridiculous comments,” since Moe apologized on Monday.

“After days of national and international headlines, the premier finally apologized for the shameful throne speech invitation that was sent to Colin Thatcher, and while he apologized for his role, the minister of corrections and policing, who defended the decision on Wednesday, wouldn’t face reporters [Monday],” she said.

Tell said the invitation to Thatcher sent the wrong message and she supports Moe’s statement.

“As the premier stated [Monday] and on behalf of the government, he offered an unequivocal apology and I share in this apology,” Tell said during Question Period on Tuesday.

Premier Moe’s statement on Monday outlined his apology.

“As Premier, and as leader of the government caucus, ultimately I am responsible,” Moe said. “To all of those who attended the Speech from the Throne, to all members of this assembly, and to all of the people of Saskatchewan, I offer my unequivocal apology,” he said.

Tell told reporters on Tuesday that after the throne speech, she didn’t think through the ramifications and felt pressure to respond.

“There wasn’t a lot of time to figure out what has gone on, what went on, that type of thing. Thinking that I just needed to answer, why he was here or how could he be here? How could the subject be here? I thought I did not have the benefit of understanding what the ramifications were of the entire situation,” she said.

Despite the frenzy following the throne speech, Tell acknowledged the words she used were hurtful and offensive to many.

“It wasn’t the appropriate response,” she said. “This situation, in no way, whatever words I used inappropriately, in no way takes away from the horrendous situation that this subject was convicted for.”

“It’s truly wrong for me to use those words in that way, probably in a more cavalier way than I should have, instead of being more careful with my words.” Top Stories

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