Minister’s press secretary celebrates education week by tweeting about “militant ATA unionists”

May 13, 2014
Kim Dewar, ATA News Staff

Dan Powers’ opinions “are his own,” according to his Twitter page. This, much like “retweets do not mean endorsements,” are commonly used phrases to cover the backsides of tweeters who do not want to get in trouble with their employers.

Fair enough. But Mr Powers is Education Minister Jeff Johnson’s press secretary and a spokesperson for the ministry of education. His handle is @EduMinPressSec, which clearly identifies the capacity in which he is tweeting.

So, when Powers tweeted about “listening to militant ATA unionists hyperventilate about performance reviews,” one might assume he was acting in his official capacity as press secretary. As the spokesperson for the Ministry, he is an extension of the minister. Is it fair to say that his juvenile and offensive Tweet was sanctioned by the minister himself? Perhaps.

Interestingly, this tweet, along with “Parents & teachers are very supportive of the Task Force report. Self-interested militant ATA unionists not so much” were deleted within hours of posting. My bet is that Minister Johnson was guessing the public wouldn’t see Powers’ opinions as “his own.”  ❚