DOUG FORD REFUSES TO APOLOGIZE FOR IMMIGRANT REMARKS, INSISTING HE'S PRO-IMMIGRATION

Oct 19, 2021

By Bob Komsic

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Some consider Doug Ford’s comments about immigrants ”callous,” ”xenophobic,” and ”dumb.”
Talking about a shortage of workers in Ontario while making an unrelated announcement in Windsor, the premier said he welcomes people, who want to work their ”tail off” like every other new Canadian.
However he says if your think you’re coming to ”collect the dole and sit around, not gonna happen.  Go somewhere else.”
NDP Immigration Services critic Doly Begum told Question Period in the legislature this morning the remarks were ”callous, discriminatory, dismissive and offensive.”
She called on Ford to apologize.
He did not, instead saying he is pro-immigration and has been from ”day one.”
”All you have to do is come to a Ford fest,” in reference to the annual family party for supporters, especially popular when his late brother Rob was Toronto mayor.
”You’ll see the support from people around the world that come there … I’ll tell you how Ford Nation was created.  They came to this country, they couldn’t get a hold of any NDP, Liberal leaders, but they got a hold of the mayor of Toronto, they got a hold of the premier.  We show up to their door.  We return their calls,” Ford added.
The Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants is not impressed, saying words matter and that the premier should not be promoting xenophobic stereotypes about immigrants.
Strategist Charles Bird told Zoomer Radio’s ”Fight Back” with Libby Znaimer, while the remarks were ”dumb, ill-advised” he wonders if trying to come across as tougher to voters ahead of next June’s provincial election, ”which I know a lot of folks like and appreciate even if it is racially and culturally insensitive from time to time.”
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