Indigenous woman says she was turned away from Doug Ford event in North Bay

An Indigenous woman says she was turned away from a public event for Doug Ford in North Bay yesterday, an allegation that Ford's team denies.

Ford's team says no one was denied access to event

Mushkegowuk woman Emma Williams (left) says she was denied entry to an event for Ontario PC leader Doug Ford in North Bay on Thursday. Her colleague Marci Becking (right) says there were hundreds of people there. Ford's team says nobody was denied access. (Laura Barrios/Supplied)

An Indigenous woman says she was turned away from a public event for Doug Ford in North Bay Thursday, an allegation that Ford's team denies.

Emma Williams, a Mushkegowuk woman who handles communications for the Anishinabek Nation, told CBC News she was running late for the 8 a.m. event on Thursday.

Williams said a man who looked like a security guard at the Grande Event Centre stopped her and told her it was closed to the public.

"I looked over his shoulder and said, 'You know my friend is there.' My colleague, friend is there and that I was supposed to meet her there."

Williams said she was told again that it was a closed event and returned to work to wait for her colleague.

But William's colleague at the Anishinabek News, Marci Becking, says she was there until just before 10 a.m. to do a media scrum with Ford.

Ford's team says the event, which was held at the Grande Event Centre in North Bay, was closed to the public after 9 a.m. (Marci Becking/Supplied)

Becking added there were hundreds of people there after 9 a.m., and wonders why her colleague couldn't get in.

"Maybe was it because of the the way that I looked that I wasn't let in the building? That's what I thought," Williams said.

Ford's press secretary, Melanie Paradis, said in an email that the public event ended before 9 a.m.

"There were a number of Indigenous participants and journalists in attendance.  No one was denied access to the event," Paradis said in her email.

With files from Jessica Pope