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Racist tensions rise in Metro Vancouver park spat over berry branch, Coquitlam mayor offended

Last Updated Jun 29, 2020 at 1:19 pm PDT

Minnekhada Regional Park. (Courtesy Minnekhada Regional Park)
Summary

Video of a heated argument in Minnekhada Regional Park over a berry branch has drawn the attention of Coquitlam's mayor

'Go back where you came from,' the woman can he heard saying in a video of the argument posted to Facebook

The woman being recorded says she's originally from the United States

COQUITLAM (NEWS 1130) — Video of a heated argument in Coquitlam’s Minnekhada Regional Park over a berry branch has drawn the attention of the mayor, who calls a comment made against two young Iranian women extremely offensive.

“Go back where you came from, if you want to use language like that,” the woman can be heard saying in a video of the argument posted to Facebook.

It’s that part of the video that Mayor Richard Stewart takes issue with.

The woman was upset with how the girls removed part of a berry bush.

“I recognize her frustration at that moment. Perhaps her buttons were being pushed,” he said. “But never does, ‘Go back to where you come from,’ come out of your mouth. That’s just an outrageous comment.”

Content warning: This video contains language some people may find offensive. Viewer discretion is advised.

some racist lady came up to my daughter Elika and her friend Sara when they were on a hike at Minnekhada regional park because they were eating berries from a branch! She had no right….

Posted by Azita Ebadati on Sunday, June 28, 2020

Stewart said he knows the family of the girls involved, which is part of why he felt compelled to weigh in.

He added Coquitlam has a diverse population, and the behavior displayed in the video is not reflective of the community at large.

Stewart notes that at one point in the video, the woman being recorded says she’s originally from the United States.

He calls it “sad and tragic” that someone who’s an immigrant themselves would judge someone else, presumably based on the colour of their skin.