Manitoba PC youth party leader quits over racist comments
Manitoba's Progressive Conservative Party has ousted its youth party president over derogatory comments he made on Facebook about aboriginal people.
Braydon Mazurkiewich, the president of the party's youth wing, was asked to resign on Friday after he posted the comment, in which he was reacting to a Federal Court ruling on the sale of the former Kapyong Barracks site in Winnipeg.
"The comments Braydon made are isolated, they are terribly inappropriate, and they're detrimental to the party. And so with all that, we just can't accept it," party president Ryan Matthews told CBC News on Friday.
Matthews said he asked Mazurkiewich for his resignation and received it.
First Nations leaders have been celebrating the Federal Court decision, which ruled that Ottawa failed to four First Nations, or even communicate properly with them, on the sale of the former Canadian Forces base.
"Listen carefully to the news today. Looks like they might be announcing that they're building a freaking reserve in the middle of Winnipeg. This city is quickly becoming the laughing stock of the entire country," Mazurkiewich wrote on his Facebook page.
After some people commented on his post, Mazurkiewich then wrote, "That was built for hardworking men and women of the military, not freeloading Indians."
'I want to live the Canadian dream'
Mazurkiewich told CBC News he feels terrible about the Facebook post, and he's sorry if his comments offended anyone.
At the same time, he said he does have strong feelings about aboriginal people.
"I do know hard-working aboriginal people, and I commend them for the work they do and the taxes that they pay. But a lot of them don't," he said.
"I do know that they live pretty much tax-free, and it pains me to see that I work very hard and I pay so much in taxes…. One day I want to move out of my parents' place buy a house and start a family. I want to live the Canadian dream."
When asked what he thinks an urban reserve would look like, Mazurkiewich replied, "Up north there's housing, and when I look at the news it's not the greatest sight.
"I don't think people paying high property taxes in that neighbourhood should have to deal with that next door," he said.
Winnipeg aboriginal activist Michael Champagne responded to Mazurkiewich's comments with a message on Twitter, aimed at the Progressive Conservative Party as a whole.
"Please do not simply kick out your youth president, please make a point of educating him and the other PC members why this type of attitude is wrong," he tweeted.