Pallister denounces racist comments but won't apologize
Calls comments by former youth president 'abhorrent'
Manitoba's Opposition leader denounced racist comments from the party's former youth president, but will not apologize.
To whom this may concern:
December 14th I made a statement that does not reflect my view on all aboriginal people.
First I would like to apologize to the PC Party of Manitoba for the negative media they've been receiving over the past few days, this is not at all PC party attitude or policy, my misguided comments were my own.
Secondly I'd like to apologize to all aboriginal people who work hard and pay taxes and help make this country a better place.
At a press conference on Thursday, Brian Pallister said online comments last week by Braydon Mazurkiewich are abhorrent and do not reflect the views of the Progressive Conservative party.
Pallister says the issue has been dealt with because Mazurkiewich was forced to resign within hours of posting comments on Facebook that referred to "freeloading Indians."
Some aboriginal leaders say Pallister should apologize on behalf of the party, but he says the comments came from only one individual.
Shortly after Pallister's press conference, Mazurkiewich sent out a written apology with a distinctly different tone, saying aboriginal people "help make this country a better place."
In a follow-up interview, Mazurkiewich added, "I want to put to rest the sentiments that I'm a racist, I'm not. I just think everyone should work hard and pay their fair share."
Some Tory members are pushing to have him stripped of his party membership. One member of the party's board of directors has called for an emergency meeting to discuss the matter.