Doug Ford won't apologize for comments about immigrants despite growing calls to do so
For what is definitely not the first time, Ontario Premier Doug Ford is the talk of the province this week for something he said during a press conference, although this time his statement was less "haha" — think calling people a few fries short of a happy meal — and more "yikes."
Ford is being called the heck out today after making some questionable comments about immigrants, apparently in his effort to say how much the province needs them.
"You come here like every other new Canadian has. Come here. You work your tail off. If you think you're coming to collect the dole and sit around, not going to happen, go somewhere else. You want to work? Come here," he said Monday afternoon.
Big time— Kate Minor (@KateMinor2) October 19, 2021
That was an insensitive & to be honest bone headed statement
People — including fellow politicians — are now demanding an apology for the statement, which is being widely considered insensitive and derogatory.
"Today, Doug Ford chose to traffic in demeaning stereotypes about new Ontarians looking to build a better life for their families. He should apologize. But we've been here before. Sadly, this is who he is," Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath tweeted after the fact.
Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca also issued a statement on Twitter calling Ford's choice of words divisive and disappointing, and calling for an apology.
But, despite the backlash, Ford and his team apparently have no plans to make amends with those who were offended by his remarks.
This kind of divisive language is deeply disappointing. A Premier is supposed to unite Ontarians, not wedge us further apart. As a son of immigrants, I know first-hand how people like my parents helped to build Ontario. Doug Ford should apologize for his callous comments. #onpoli https://t.co/BazfwLniyk— Steven Del Duca (@StevenDelDuca) October 18, 2021
"I don't think [an apology] is necessary because what the Premier was actually saying was that we need more immigrants in Ontario, we have lots of work" Deputy Premier Christine Elliott said at her own press conference on Tuesday, adding that Ford's leadership is trying to actively encourage more immigration amid a labour shortage.
"He was indicating his expectation is when people come here that they will work and they are working... We know that when people come here they do work hard, they work hard for themselves, for their families, for their communities, and so we welcome that. That is what the premier intended to indicate yesterday."
Asked about the Premier's remarks yesterday about new Canadians "being on the dole," Minister Elliott says an apology is not necessary, that Ontario needs more immigrants because of the labour shortage. #onpoli— Laura Stone (@l_stone) October 19, 2021
When confronted himself in Legislature on Tuesday, Ford declined to say sorry, instead iterating that he is pro-immigration and has been "since day one," and reverting back to the underlying issue of the province's desperate need for more workers, wherever they may be from.
"We are short 290,000 people. I was the only government who wrote letter after letter to the prime minister saying we need more people," he said.
He also stated that he has supporters from all backgrounds and all parts of the world.
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