Ontario Premier Doug Ford not apologizing for ‘divisive’ comments about immigrants

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Published October 19, 2021 at 10:37 am

Ontario opposition leaders are calling on Premier Doug Ford to apologies for his “divisive” comments about immigrants, but the deputy premier says any lament isn’t necessary.

On Monday, Ford was in Tecumseh, Ont., to pledge a commitment of $9.8 million for an acute care hospital in the area. After the announcement, Ford went into a tangent about a skilled labour shortage in the province.

“If you think you’re coming to collect the dole and sit around, it’s not going to happen,” Ford said. “Go somewhere else. “You come here like every other new Canadian. You work your tail off.”

On Tuesday, Deputy Premier Christine Elliot said there is no need for Ford to walk back his statement because any slight towards immigrants was not what the premier “intended to indicate.”

“What Premier Ford was saying was that we need more people to do the jobs that we have available here in Ontario, so we encourage more immigration,” Elliot said. “We need more people in Ontario, we need more people to come form other jurisdictions – we welcome that.”

“We know that when people come here they do work hard. They provide for themselves and their families, they contribute largely to our communities and we need more propel in Ontario. That’s the premier was indicating yesterday.”

Opposition leaders took to Twitter to express their outrage at Ford’s statements.

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said in a tweet that Ford had “chose to traffic in demeaning stereotypes” and called for him to  apologize.

“He should apologize. But we’ve been here before,” Horwath said on Twitter. “Sadly, this is who he is. Our diverse, welcoming province deserves better.”

Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca has called on the premier to apologize, saying the comments were “callous.”

“This kind of divisive language is deeply disappointing,” he said.

“A premier is supposed to unite Ontarians, not wedge us further apart.”

Mississauga-based philanthropist and entrepreneur Mohamad Fakih also said Ford had proved himself unworthy of the office with the comments he made on Monday about immigrants.

“The premier of Ontario being ridiculous and insulting,” Fakir wrote. “Showing his true colours. Our province has been built up by hard-working immigrants; today, and for generations.”

 

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