Pickering councillor fires back (again) after more backlash from her Black History Month comments

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Published February 13, 2024 at 10:17 pm

Ward 1 Pickering Councillor Lisa Robinson

In the words of Pickering Mayor Kevin Ashe, “A racist explains why her racist comments aren’t racist.”

That’s the header over a post on Ashe’s Facebook page where he re-posts another rebuttal from embattled Pickering Councillor Lisa Robinson, who once again claimed victim status after coming under fire from several fronts for her “racist and offensive” columns in an Oshawa newspaper.

Her original op-ed piece in the Central called Black History Month just politicians “hypocritically championing a people’s contribution throughout history” to “get Afro-Canadian votes.”

That got Ashe’s ire up and the Pickering Mayor responded on the council floor, calling the article an “inflammatory” opinion piece and her statements “racist, irresponsible and unethical.”

Pickering Mayor Kevin Ashe

Robinson then responded on her YouTube channel, with governments, the media, special interest groups, Ashe and all those who don’t support her politically falling under her video-taped knife.

Robinson made it clear in her six-minute diatribe that no apology was forthcoming, calling the negative blowback from her column “personal political posturing.” She also alleged unknown kickbacks were behind the community complaints and demanded the media stop the “manipulation of words for sensationalism or clickbait.”

She also tried to paint a picture of her as “regular” folk, noting the media’s message was “not the narrative of regular working people like you or I.”

What followed was widespread condemnation from the community, including statements from the Pickering Professional Firefighters Association and CUPE Local 129, which represents workers with the City of Pickering.

The firefighters called Robinson’s statements “racist and offensive” and was “appalled” when the councillor “refused to walk back” her “archaic, offensive and harmful” comments.

“We can no longer remain silent and we can no longer sit on the sidelines and watch the actions of an elected representative dimmish the values of the City of Pickering and the community.”

CUPE 129 stood in “solidarity” with the firefighter’s association comments, saying its members were “committed to fighting racism and hatred in all forms.” The union also called Robinson’s statements “egregious and racist” and urged union members “not to be neutral” when witnessing racism.

The union took that a step further and asked the Ward 1 Councillor to step down. “We call on Councillor Robinson to resign and to allow good governance and unity in our leadership once more.”

Robinson, in her third public statement about her Black History Month comments this month, called the CUPE statement “cowardly” because she claimed it was penned by an “anonymous author on behalf of the membership” and said the statement “targeted my character with false allegations and judgments, persecuting me for simply exercising my right to freedom of speech.”

Robinson, who infamously said she was the victim of “modern slavery” after being suspended without pay twice last year for code of conduct violations – she has applied for a judicial review to get those suspensions overturned – also claimed she is the victim of “public persecution” because of her gender and said the union’s statement was based on “bias, prejudice, and hatred,”

“The president of CUPE and I have a history of clashing on previous issues that stem back to before I even became an elected official.”

Robinson then went on a tirade questioning the relationship between the Mayor and the union and claimed the author of the union release “lacked the intellect to understand” the content of her column and simply “jumped on the Mayor’s bandwagon.”
The Ward 1 Councillor claimed the ‘regular folk’ trope one last time to finish her statement, saying she was “deeply disappointed” in Ashe, “who seems to lack the intellectual integrity to grasp basic concepts.”

“Resorting to political maneuvering and supporting freezes on my pay, making it impossible for me to pay my taxes, mortgage, and put food on the table for my family. This only serves to highlight his lack of understanding and empathy for the struggles faced by single mothers like me.”

Ashe then posted Robinson’s rant on his own Facebook page for the community to make their own judgement.

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