Catherine Fife MPP, Waterloo

Government of Ontario

Premier Wynne Defends her ‘Man-Splaining’ Energy Minister’s Casual Sexism

Published on May 5, 2016

QUEEN’S PARK — Ontario NDP MPP Catherine Fife called on Premier Wynne to ask her minister to resign following his comments in the legislature yesterday comparing the leader of Ontario’s New Democrats to an animal.

“I thought the Liberal caucus had a code of contact. Surely it doesn’t say that comparing women to dogs is okay?” said Fife, MPP for Kitchener-Waterloo. “Premier, it’s never okay. It’s 2016. When is enough is enough?”

The call for the Minister of Energy Bob Chiarelli’s resignation from cabinet follows his comment in the legislature yesterday that the Ontario NDP leader “pees all over the map.”

The minister’s sexist and un-parliamentary comment yesterday follows a pattern of degrading and disrespecting comments, including last year when he referred to the Leader of the Ontario NDP as “that woman.”

“A year ago the Minister of Energy decided to ‘man-splain’ the electricity system to Ontario’s Auditor-General. Even though she spent ten years at Manitoba Hydro,” said Fife. “Then, yesterday, he decided to continue this pattern of degrading and disrespecting women. The minister’s conduct was once again an embarrassment to this assembly.”

This morning, Premier Wynne dismissed Fife’s call for her minister’s resignation claiming it was all a “misunderstanding,” and that her minister had “stumbled over his words.” (VIDEO LINK: 17m57s)

Fife said the government has a duty to lead by example.

“No woman should have put up with this kind of casual sexism,” said Fife. “The Premier’s credibility on sexual violence and harassment is being called into question. As she says, it’s never okay, not even for her own caucus members and certainly not for her cabinet members. Will the Premier do what she should have done a year ago and show the Minister of Energy the door?”