'Let them eat cake': Ont. Chamber of Commerce president apologizes after new year's tweet draws ire
Rocco Rossi's tweet came just as now-scrapped hike in minimum wage was set to kick in
The president of Ontario's Chamber of Commerce, Rocco Rossi, has apologized for a New Year's Eve tweet featuring a bottle of Veuve champagne and caviar, boasting that he was celebrating the "1-percenter way."
In the apology, issued around 9 p.m. on New Year's Day, Rossi said the tweet "was never intended to offend."
Saved it for you! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ONpoli?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ONpoli</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cdnpoli?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#cdnpoli</a> <a href="https://t.co/KpPDUj8Rsy">pic.twitter.com/KpPDUj8Rsy</a>—@MimiProbably
The reforms, Rossi said last fall, were "too much, too fast."
"The compounding labour reforms and unintended consequences came at too high a cost to Ontario's economy."
Rossi's now-deleted tweet drew widespread ire on social media, where it was described as everything from "unfortunate" to "tone-deaf."
Rossi successfully lobbied the Ford government to cancel a $1/hour minimum wage increase that would have kicked in today <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/onpoli?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#onpoli</a> <a href="https://t.co/QywGiU6IoT">pic.twitter.com/QywGiU6IoT</a>—@bowker_john
I’m neither 1% nor minimum wage. I am an Ontario voter who believes fairness and equality are deep seeded Canadian values worth protecting from those who begrudge the less fortunate from having a small amount more. It’s not satire it’s cruel to joke about the misfortune of others—@nealferguson
I hope you enjoyed that new year celebration that you paid for by robbing Ontario's poor. I mean, i can't afford my medication, but it sure is worth that as long as you can raise a glass of champagne. Your apology doesn't fool any of us.—@stirwhipbeat
Rocco's one of the good ones, someone who's dedicated himself to public service. It was an unfortunate, off-color tweet, but does not represent at all the person I know. I'd advise giving him the benefit of the doubt. Happy 2019 everyone. Let's make this a great year for all.—@YungWu
While meant to be "satirical," Rossi said, his tweet "in retrospect was insensitive and caused offence."
But for some that apology wasn't good enough.
If you "meant to be satirical" then you should reconsider your intentions. Perhaps for 2019 you could think about the social and economic assumptions you hold and how they impact the 99%, who actually spend the money that profits your organization's members. <a href="https://t.co/KlEAbhfw00">pic.twitter.com/KlEAbhfw00</a>—@jenneferlaidley