Alberta’s Chinese community continues to ask Premier Kenney for an apology
It has been more than a week since the publication of a Postmedia article containing a controversial remark by Alberta Premier Jason Kenney.
Speaking with Calgary Sun columnist Rick Bell, Kenney made what many believe to be a callous comment regarding the origins of the COVID-19 virus in Wuhan, China.
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On Saturday, members of the Calgary Chinese community gathered outside the McDougall Center to call on the Prime Minister to issue a formal apology.
Some in attendance believed that Kenney’s comments contributed to the anti-Asian discrimination and hatred that some Chinese citizens have suffered since the start of the pandemic.
“People cannot express their anger with China,” Jiannong Wu said. “They express it with us.”
Another protester, Rona Kong, believes the comments added to her feeling already ostracized by her ethnicity.
“For him, saying that almost scares me to say I’m Chinese.” Kong said.
“I am also ashamed of this province in a way.”
The Prime Minister’s press secretary told Global News on Saturday that Kenney apologized in an interview on December 24.
“I want to say that by the way, if anyone took offense, I apologize to them,” Kenney’s email transcript of the apology said. “If they were offended, certainly none was planned.
“I’m sorry if people took offense at what I said, it wasn’t my intention. And I certainly want to thank the Chinese-Canadian community in Alberta for the tremendous care they have shown in being responsible during COVID. “
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Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley and other caucus members have asked Kenney to respond further to the comments.
“I think it is extremely important for this government to make this statement and make it clear that the people of Alberta come from many different backgrounds, cultures and talents and that they all have their place here,” said Alberta NDP MP Irfan Sabir.
Wu believes that the premier has failed in his duties as head of the province.
“His job is to unite us, not to divide us. “
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