P.A. wanderer disqualified from competition
By Kellah Lavoie
The Saskerwanderer competition, advertised as the best summer job ever, has come to a disappointing end for Nathan Thoen.
The Prince Albert man found out last week that he has been disqualified.
Thoen said he received a phone call from Jennifer Johnson, communications coordinator with the Ministry to Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport, telling him she has received emails about an inappropriate video of him online.
“I was waiting to hear the good news about making it into top five and I was regretfully informed that I have been disqualified,” he said, explaining his application video had 1,100 more hits than the next highest competitor.
“I was sitting pretty easy, I kind of knew I had it in the bag and then there was another competitor possible or somebody else who decided they didn’t want me to be the Saskatchewanderer and started digging and found this video of me and my friends at a Rider game about two years ago.”
Thoen described the video as he and some friends partying at a Roughrider game. He said they were cheering and making some belligerent comments towards the Eskimos and their fans.
He said he was told he would be going through a thorough screening, the government would be checking is Facebook, YouTube account, but he said it was a video he didn’t even know was online.
“The second I got off the phone with her I went through and completely filtered and deleted anything I thought was even slightly off colour I hope I am, right now, squeaky clean online,” he said.
Johnson said the government didn’t think they would need to disqualify any of their top 10 competitors.
“We are required, if there is information we find out as we are going through the process, find out that the applicant might not be qualified for something, we do have to look at that,” she said.
“One of the main qualifications is representing Saskatchewan in a positive light, so we have to make sure that all of our applicants can do that.”
She said there are many employers who already do online screening, and after she informed Thoen of his disqualification she checked her own online presence.
“It’s one of those tough lesson for people that they should check what shows up when there is a Google search on them and that sort of thing,” Johnson said.
Thoen said he has learned from his mistake and wants to apologize to anyone the video may have offended.
The top five competitors will be released on Wednesday.
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