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Stockwell Day resigns from Telus board after controversial comments about racism

Last Updated Jun 3, 2020 at 8:33 pm PDT

FILE - Former MP Stockwell Day in the House of Commons. (Facebook)
Summary

During a TV interview, Stockwell Day compared childhood bullying to enduring racism

Telus says the former cabinet minister's views are not reflective of its values and beliefs

Day also offered his resignation as a strategic advisor at McMillan LLP, a business law firm, and it was accepted

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Comparing childhood bullying to enduring racism on a CBC political show has cost a former prominent B.C. politician a seat on the board of Telus.

In a statement Wednesday announcing Stockwell Day’s resignation, the company says the former cabinet minister’s views are not reflective of its values and beliefs.

Day also resigned as a strategic advisor at McMillan LLP, a business law firm.

“At McMillan LLP, we believe that systemic racism is real and that it can only be addressed when each of us – as individuals and organizations – commits to meaningful change,” Teresa Dufort, partner and CEO at McMillan, says in a tweet.

“Yesterday, Stockwell Day made comments during a televised interview that run counter to this view.”

Day had argued Canada does not suffer from systemic racism. He also suggested the bullying he experienced as a young boy who wore glasses was comparable to what it’s like to endure racism.

“I’m saying most, in fact, are not racist,” Day said in the interview of Canadians .

“Well, I know that for a fact because I know Canadians, I know friends, I know relatives, I know my opponents, who are adversaries, and most of them are not racist. Should we all be more sensitive about any kind of hurting or insulting people, whether it’s racist or not? Should I have gone through school and 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? Of course not. But are Canadians largely and in a majority racist? No, we are not. We celebrate our diversity around the world.”

Day later apologized for his comments.

“By feedback from many in the Black and other communities, I realize my comments in debate on Power and Politics were insensitive and hurtful. I ask forgiveness for wrongly equating my experiences to theirs.I commit to them my unending efforts to fight racism in all its forms,” he says in a tweet.

Day was leader of the federal Canadian Alliance in 2000-01. He was a Conservative MP for the riding of Okanagan-Coquihalla before announcing he would not seek re-election in the 2011 federal election