Liberals demand Jody Carr fired over Trudeau email
Opposition MLAs say email controversy is the latest in a series of partisan decisions
The Opposition Liberals are demanding Premier David Alward fire Education Minister Jody Carr after an email showed he personally intervened in the cancellation of a high school class trip to a Justin Trudeau rally in February.
The Liberals say it's the latest mistake by Carr, who is standing by his decision to send an email to his senior civil servants to investigate a class trip to listen to Trudeau.
Trudeau was holding a rally in the capital city in February during his federal Liberal leadership campaign.
The Liberals attacked Carr for emailing his deputy ministers to say the class trip trip should not be funded.
Liberal MLA Chris Collins characterized the rally a "civics event" where Trudeau was speaking.
"When will the premier recognize that this minister’s priority is playing politics — politics over privacy, politics over learning, and politics over educational priorities? This minister has lost his shine," Collins said.
"Mr. Premier, when will you do the right thing and remove this minister, who has demonstrated that he is too political to lead the education system? When will you ask him to step down?"
The Liberals have also criticized Carr over a privacy breach after the minister’s political assistant released a mark of an Oromocto High School student. The Liberals have called for Carr to resign over the privacy breach.
Alward stood behind Carr on Tuesday in question period, praising, in particular, his work on classroom inclusion and on reorganizing school districts.
"This has all been led by the minister of education and I'm proud of the work he has done," Alward said.
The education minister continued to defend his involvement in the decision to ask questions about the Trudeau rally. Carr said the class trip would have violated a policy that bans school activities that are politically partisan.
"I would only hope that the Liberal Party of New Brunswick would agree with following the laws of New Brunswick. But today it's very clear they want to break the rules, break the laws," Carr said.
"They continue to ask the government to do that. We will not … We are focused on the future of New Brunswick."
Carr later produced print-outs from the event venue that made it clear the rally was an official Liberal leadership event.
The trip had been approved by David McTimoney, the superintendent of the Anglophone West School District, who viewed the event as an opportunity to allow high school students from three schools to listen to a MP speak, "who is of Canadian historic significance."
In emails obtained by CBC News under the Right to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, McTimoney had earlier mentioned to teachers "this event is to experience a talk by Justin Trudeau… not to sign up as a voter or engage in a partisan political activity."
The superintendent said in a subsequent email to a deputy minister of education that he would "follow your direction."