Saskatchewan

Minister apologizes for 'desperate homeless people' remark

The minister of social services apologized today after a comment she made earlier this week to CBC's iTeam about homeless people in Saskatchewan .

"Those words should have never been said," says Donna Harpauer.

Social Services Minister Donna Harpauer apologized Thursday for a comment she made about homeless people Monday.

The minister of social services apologized today after a comment she made earlier this week to CBC's iTeam about homeless people in Saskatchewan .

On Monday, CBC reported a story on a failed government low-income housing project with Deveraux Developments in Regina.

During an interview about the failed 48-unit project, CBC asked Donna Harpauer about the waiting list for social housing faced by homeless people.

In response Harpauer said to CBC's reporter, "you're assuming that there's these desperate homeless people."

Statement generates outrage

The statement ran in a story which was published on Tuesday and generated angry responses on social media.

Housing coordinators like Tyler Gray at Carmichael Outreach in Regina were outraged over the statement.

On Tuesday, he told CBC, "she said there's this assumption that there (are) desperate homeless people. It's not an assumption. It's reality."

Gray and his coworkers are currently looking for homes for more than 50 people.

Harpauer apologizes

In a statement issued by the government today, Harpauer said, "I want to deeply apologize for my remarks earlier this week. Those words should have never been said and I apologize. In no way was I trying to say there are no homeless people in Saskatchewan."

Harpauer went on to explain that she did not mean to dismiss an important issue.

"I was responding to a specific question about the 48-unit affordable housing issue, and what I meant to say is that all 48 families have a home now and our government will ensure they continue to have a home," said Harpauer.

"Obviously, I did a poor job of communicating that answer," she added.

Harpauer is in northern Saskatchewan today opening several social housing projects.