Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Scotties a Little Soft on Planning

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Scotties a Little Soft on Planning

Article excerpt

Editorial Exchange: Scotties a little soft on planning

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An editorial from the Winnipeg Free Press, published Feb. 26:

Despite all the inroads women seem to be making, there are still moments that make it clear we're not there yet in terms of true equality in this country.

Take the latest example. The Scotties Tournament of Hearts -- an important curling event for the country's top women curlers -- is underway in Grande Prairie, a smallish city located west of Edmonton. Provincial teams are competing for the trophy, but more importantly, a win guarantees the team a spot to compete in the world curling championship, which is being held in Swift Current in late March.

As Free Press reporter Melissa Martin first reported while in Grande Prairie earlier this week, organizers of the event banned children from the backstage area, citing space issues. An email was sent to all curlers reminding them children are not allowed backstage at Revolution Place, the Scotties venue, "at any time." It helpfully added mothers with babies were "encouraged" to go to the Grande Prairie Curling Club between draws, which is located about 180 metres from the tournament venue. It left some of the curlers who are breastfeeding in a conundrum. Some simply breastfed in their cars because it was too difficult to make it between the two spaces in the time between draws.

It seems hard to imagine this is still a battle for women with infants. The Scotties is an impressive curling event that highlights the athleticism of Canadian women curlers. Fans flock to watch the event, both in the stands and on television. In fact, it is among the few sports where pregnant women can still compete. Its winners include the likes of Sandra Schmirler, Colleen Jones, Jennifer Jones and Rachel Homan -- women who in some parts of Canada are considered superstars. This particular venue can seat nearly 3,000 spectators per game, and tickets for the event are in demand.

In 2016, for an organization to ban children from the backstage and suggest nursing moms must go elsewhere to feed their babies suggests organizers still don't get it. …

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