ATA cancels controversial guest scheduled to speak at Calgary Teachers’ Convention
The Alberta Teachers Association says it has cancelled a controversial guest scheduled to speak at the Calgary City Teachers’ Convention this week.
The union’s president Greg Jeffery broke the news from an unverified twitter account at 9:20 p.m. Wednesday.
“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,” he said.
Convicted murderer Andy (Andrew) Evans was scheduled to join the Calgary Police Service in a session at the convention.
Calgary police said Alberta Adolescent Recovery Centre (AARC) invited them to speak at the convention to help educate others about addiction.
According to the schedule summary, Evans was to be speaking about adolescent addiction and his journey through addiction.
After serving seven years for second-degree murder, Evans was granted parole in 2014.
Nicole Parisien was strangled by Evans, a former UBC rugby player, while working at an illegal massage parlor in Vancouver.
Evans was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of getting out for 10 years. However, the Criminal Code allows parole eligibility three years before the official date of release to ease an eventual transition back into society.
After Evans was granted day parole, he moved back to Calgary where he’s currently the quality assurance coordinator at the AARC. He’s also a member of the Calgary Rams Rugby Club.
Initial concerns about him being a guest at the convention came up on a social media post wondering if it was the same person who served time for the murder Parisien in Vancouver.
LISTEN: ATA president Greg Jeffrey joins Rob Breakenridge to discuss cancelling the AARC presentation at the Calgary Teachers’ Convention
In a statement on Tuesday, the organizers of the conference said they stood by their decision to keep Evans as a speaker:
“Teachers are smart and thoughtful professionals capable of examining contentious issues and sensitive topics with critical thought. For this reason, the association’s convention organizers do not shy away from scheduling controversial sessions or speakers. We trust in the professionalism of teachers to understand and appreciate different perspectives on issues that relate to their work.”
News of the cancellation spread quickly on social media on Wednesday evening:
The Calgary City Teachers’ Convention runs from Feb. 14 to 15.
With files from Global News’ Blake Lough
© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.