Mayor McCallion under fire for alleged anti-immigrant remarks

Mississauga's mayor is being accused of making anti-immigrant and anti-refugee remarks, stemming from an article published in the National Post. But Hazel McCallion says a National Post columnist took her remarks out of context.

In the article written by Diane Francis on May 15th, McCallion is quoted as saying "If you go to the Credit Valley Hospital, the emergency is loaded with people in their native costumes."

McCallion is also quoted as saying "so-called refugees" are unfairly burdening Mississauga with welfare costs, and that sponsored immigrants "who never contributed a nickel" place a burden on the medical system. McCallion now says she was talking about illegal immigrants and immigrants abandoned by their sponsors.

Members of Mississauga's South Asian community protested at Mississauga's civic centre on Tuesday, saying McCallion's remarks had racist overtones. One carried a placard that read, "We don't want a racist mayor." The group is looking for an apology, but McCallion says she has nothing to apologize for, because her quotes were taken out of context and distorted. And, she says, positive comments she made about immigrants were not included in the article.