NDP Leader John Horgan, right to left, Green leader Sonia Furstenau and Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson prepare for a debate at the Chan Centre in Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, October 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

NDP Leader John Horgan, right to left, Green leader Sonia Furstenau and Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson prepare for a debate at the Chan Centre in Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, October 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Horgan attempts to clarify ‘I don’t see colour’ debate answer with Twitter post

A day after the debate, Horgan revised his answer on Twitter, admitting it could have upset people

NDP Leader John Horgan is trying to clarify an answer he gave on white privilege during Tuesday night’s leaders debate in the B.C. election.

In a statement issued on Twitter, Horgan says he wished he had given a different answer when the three party leaders were asked how they have reckoned with white privilege.

Horgan answered by sharing his experience playing lacrosse as a youth, saying he doesn’t see colour.

Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson discussed his time working in rural B.C. as a doctor in Indigenous communities.

The Green party’s Sonia Furstenau said she cannot comprehend that some mothers tell their children to be wary of the police.

But Horgan later revised his answer on Twitter, admitting it could have upset people.

“Saying ‘I don’t see colour’ causes pain and makes people feel unseen,” he wrote. “I’m sorry. I’ll never fully understand, as a white person, the lived reality of systemic racism. I’m listening, learning, and I’ll keep working every day to do better.”

At a campaign stop on Wednesday in Richmond, Horgan expanded on his Twitter comment.

“I was jolted out of my comfort last night and I’m going to reflect on that. I profoundly regret that I alienated and hurt people last night.”

The Coalition on Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls in BC has also sent a letter to the three party leaders expressing “grave concern” that safety of Indigenous people does not appear to be a priority for them.

The letter, signed by 18 people and groups including the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, says none of the party platforms released so far offer plans to implement findings from the national inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous women.

The New Democrat and Liberal parties have unveiled their platforms and Furstenau is slated to release her party’s policies and goals at an event in New Westminster later in the day.

In her answer on Tuesday night, Furstenau pledged to work to end systemic racism but admitted neither she nor the other two party leaders, who are all white, could ever grasp its nuances.

The letter from the coalition says the COVID-19 pandemic shows all levels of government can act quickly when failing to do so can be life-threatening.

“The negligence of government and its failure to act swiftly to implement the (findings) betrays a lack of value for the lives of Indigenous women,” the letter says.

The letter urges each party to immediately release its plan to act on the findings and to respond to recommendations from the committee about how the plan will be implemented and funded.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

BC GreenBC LiberalsBC NDPBC politicsBC Votes 2020

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cumberland Brewery is looking to expand its patio space temporarily for the summer. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Cumberland Brewery looks for temporary patio expansion

Move would allow business to spread customers outside in summer months

School District 71’s final budget for this school year showed more revenue from distance learning students but less from traditional classroom registration. Record file photo
Comox Valley Schools’ budget grant almost $5.5 million higher than planned

Increase came from a boost in distributed learning rather traditional registration

A&W on Ryan Road confirmed a positive case of COVID-19 at their restaurant and temporarily shut its doors. Google Maps photo
Courtenay restaurant temporarily closed due to COVID-19 exposure

It’s the latest business in the Valley to be affected by the virus

The CSRHD board moved closer to passing a budget with a $4.4 million cut to the tax requisition. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Comox Strathcona hospital district moves on budget with tax cut

At $12.6 million, budget requisition represents drop of $4.4 million for current year

Courtenay councillor Will Cole-Hamilton, standing at right, sits on steering committees of two organizations that are tackling the problem of greenhouse gas emissions. File photo
Courtenay councillor leads campaign to reduce building-sector GHG emissions

Courtenay councillor Will Cole-Hamilton wants local governments to carry a little more… Continue reading

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and 7 new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

After nearly 10 months of investigations, Mounties have made an arrest in the tripping of an elderly woman in Burnaby this past April. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Mounties charge suspect for tripping elderly woman near Metrotown in April

32-year-old Hayun Song is accused of causing bodily harm to an 84-year-old using her walker

Most Read