ALBERTA

Sarah Hoffman Fat-Shamed By Postmedia Headline

01/05/2017 01:22 EST | Updated 01/05/2017 03:33 EST

In case anyone is confused about the definition of the term "micro-aggression," this headline from Postmedia should clear things up:

No, this isn't a headline placed on a story about weight loss or dieting. It's one about the Alberta government's ongoing work to reduce health procedure wait times.

The headline, combined with a pull quote next to a picture of Health Minister Sarah Hoffman, is "spectacularly insulting" and a form of "casual misogyny," according to critics on social media.

The headline riffs the name of Weight Watchers, a company that specializes in weight loss products and services.

The headline appeared on the article in a print edition of Calgary Sun earlier this week. Online, a different version ran: "NDP vow to cut wait times a work in progress."

Editor Jose Rodriguez took to Twitter to apologize Wednesday, conceding the print version was a"mistake" and a "poor attempt at a pun."

This is not the first time Hoffman's weight has been the focus of criticism.

Last June, the vice president for Alberta's Progressive Conservative party called Hoffman "our morbidly obese health minister" in a Facebook post.

"I would assume then that if health is the chief concern, that all sodas, candy, processed sugar products…and fast foods…should then follow?" wrote Jordan Lien.

He was questioning the NDP government's decision to ban the sale of menthol tobacco at the time.

sarah hoffman alberta

Alberta Health Minister Sarah Hoffman appears at the swearing-in ceremony for the Alberta NDP government on May 24, 2015. (Photo: Connor Mah/Flickr)

His comments were quickly condemned by his interim leader Ric McIver, who said, "All Albertans are must be respected. All Albertans must be treated with dignity."

'Does the weight of a cabinet minister make he or she less valuable?'

Michelle Bellefontaine, a legislative reporter, was particularly offended by the headline. The CBC Edmonton reporter expressed her frustration in a series of tweets about how women are often attacked over vanity.

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