CALGARY (660 NEWS) — The President of Alberta’s Teacher’s Association announced on Twitter that controversial speaker Andy Evans will no longer be speaking at the upcoming Calgary Teacher’s Convention.
The ATA faced public backlash when it was announced that Evans, a convicted murderer, would be speaking at the convention to share his personal experience with addiction and recovery.
Evans was convicted of second-degree murder in 2007 for strangling a Vancouver woman and spent seven years in prison. Evans presentation was one of several talks scheduled for this year’s convention on Feb. 14 and 15.
After reviewing concerns shared about Andy Evans speaking at Calgary Teachers’ Convention, I have consulted with @CCTCA organizers and we will be cancelling AARC’s session. I sincerely regret the impact this has had on survivors, victims and their supporters. #abed #CCTC2019
— Greg Jeffery (@ab_teacher) February 7, 2019
A spokesperson for Jonathan Teghtmeyer, ATA initially defended its decision to have Evans speak: “We believe that teachers are smart and thoughtful professionals capable of examining contentious issues and sensitive topics with critical thought,” he said.
“For this reason, we have controversial sessions or speakers and ultimately we trust in the professionalism of teachers to understand and appreciate different perspectives on issues that relate to their work.”
Teghtmeyer maintains the ATA in no way condones the past actions of Evans and expresses heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Nicole Parisien for their terrible loss.