Keith Russell apologizes for 'mumbo jumbo' remarks
Lake Melville MHA issues written statement in wake of controversial comments last week
Posted: Sep 18, 2012 7:22 AM NT
Last Updated: Sep 18, 2012 7:02 PM NT
Lake Melville MHA Keith Russell is apologizing for equating the spiritual significance of Muskrat Falls to "mumbo jumbo."
Russell’s office said that due to “time constraints,” he was not available for an interview with CBC News Tuesday.
But he did release a prepared statement.Keith Russell is the MHA for Lake Melville. (N.L. house of assembly)
“With regards to my recent comment about Muskrat Falls, I apologize for my poor choice of words," Russell's statement noted.
"As an aboriginal person, I was raised to respect other's beliefs. My comment was not intended to be a blanket statement about spirituality or aboriginal people in general. Aboriginal cultures have a rich history in this province and I am proud that my family and I share in that.”
On Monday, Liberal MHA Yvonne Jones called for a public apology from Russell.
"There's always been a common respect for each other's culture, for the place in which we live, and even though there's often going to be different political opinions, there's going to be different perspectives when it comes to development," Jones told reporters in St. John's.
"But certainly Keith Russell showed absolute disdain and disrespect for the people of Labrador in the comments that he made last week."
'Mumbo jumbo' comment made during radio interview
Russell, whose district includes Muskrat Falls, made the remarks last Thursday, in an interview on CBC's Labrador Morning.
He went on to say that he doesn't buy into talk of "Mother Earth" and spirits running through sacred waters, instead stressing that Muskrat Falls is a key resource.
Since then, Premier Kathy Dunderdale has said the comments were unacceptable, and Jones said cabinet minister Nick McGrath has been calling aboriginal leaders to apologize for Russell's remarks.
Russell, who is of aboriginal descent, served as a member in the Inuit government of Nunatsiavut before being elected to the house of assembly in 2011.
Latest Nfld. & Labrador News Headlines
- Cochrane: Where Ottawa should look for Senate scandal remedies
- The political crime spree that was Newfoundland and Labrador's spending scandal offers important lessons for Parliament, writes David Cochrane. more »
- Police investigate unusual crash in Mount Pearl
- An SUV crashed head-on into the side of a bungalow on Bartlett Place around 8:00 p.m. Friday. more »
- Diamonds in the dump
- A woman from Grand Falls-Windsor found herself staring at 55 bags of garbage this week — hoping to single out the bag that contained jewelry she'd accidentally thrown away. more »
- Arrests made in Torbay bank robbery
- Police have arrested a man and a woman in connection with a bank robbery in Torbay Friday afternoon. more »
Top News Headlines
- Will Rob Ford's supporters leave Ford Nation?
- The growing controversy over a purported video alleging to show Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine may be testing the faith of even his most die-hard supporters. But experts say Ford's policies may trump whatever personal issues he's facing, and that his supporters may rally behind him. more »
- Royal Bank pledges not to outsource jobs for cash savings
- Royal Bank has promised it will never outsource a Canadian job to a foreign worker solely to save money. more »
- Neil Macdonald: How serious is Obama about curbing the drone surge?
- In a key speech this week, the U.S. president set out a host of supposed new safeguards for America's controversial practice of remote-controlled rough justice. But as Neil Macdonald writes, the underlying rationale for drone use has not fundamentally changed. more »
- Making The Mandela Tapes
- Producer Robin Benger describes how he obtained broadcast access to interviews Nelson Mandela recorded in the 1990s. A CBC Radio Ideas program on the Mandela tapes airs May 28. more »
- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford denies using crack cocaine
- The mayor of Canada's largest city told a packed news conference that he doesn't use crack cocaine and isn't a crack addict. more »
- Canada Post campaigns against 'no flyers' mailbox signs
- Arrests made in Torbay bank robbery
- N.L's two oral surgeons give resignation notices
- Crab protest over at La Scie fish plant
- No new reports of drifting ghost ship Lyubov Orlova
- Mount Cashel abuse settlement sets stage for more suits
- N.L. government calls tender for Adult Basic Education
- Crew safe after vessel sinks off St. John's
- Bay Roberts couple win $2M on scratch ticket