EX-TORY MINISTER DAY RESIGNS AFTER DENYING RACISM.
VANCOUVER • A former Conservative cabinet minister resigned from both the Telus board of directors and a business law firm on Wednesday after publicly denying there is systemic racism in Canada.
Stockwell Day was on a CBC Power & Politics panel Tuesday discussing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s response to protests over the police killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man.
Day said systemic racism was not an issue in Canada and compared people’s experiences of racism here to him being mocked for wearing glasses as a child.
Wednesday, Telus announced it had accepted Day’s resignation from the board. “The views expressed by Mr. Day during yesterday’s broadcast of Power & Politics are not reflective of the values and beliefs of our organization,” Telus said. Day had been on the board since 2011.
Soon after, Teresa Dufort, partner and CEO at Mcmillan LLP, released a statement saying the law firm had accepted Day’s resignation as a strategic adviser.
Day has also stepped down as a commentator on CBC.
Since Floyd’s death on May 25, protests over police brutality against black Americans have been held across the U.S. with many turning violent as police respond to vandalism and looting, but also peaceful assemblies, with tear gas, batons and rubber bullets.
“We all watch in horror and consternation (at) what’s going on in the United States,” Trudeau said Tuesday.
“It is a time to pull people together but it is a time to listen, it is a time to learn what injustices continue despite progress over years and decades. But it is a time for us as Canadians to recognize that we, too, have our challenges.”
On Power & Politics, Day said that he rejected “the prime minister insinuating that all Canadians are somehow racist because our system is systemically racist.”
“The Canadian system is built and every day functions to defend the rights of minorities, and it should, and we celebrate that,” he said.
Day said that while there are a “few idiot racists” in Canada, he believes most Canadians are not racist.
Day did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.
“It’s difficult to be able to assert that there isn’t racism as a white person, right?” asked the show’s host, Vassy Kapelos. Day responded that among his Canadian friends, relatives and adversaries, most are not racist. He added that Canadians should be more sensitive about “hurting or insulting people.”
“Should I have gone through school being mocked because I had glasses and was called ‘four eyes,’ and because (of) the occupation of my parents? Should I have been mocked for all that? No, of course not,” Day said.