Four Green nominees in Quebec made Islamophobic comments, party says
Green Party leader Elizabeth May talks to her supporters before announcing the official launch of the Green Party of Canada election campaign as she's joined by green candidates during a press conference at the Delta Hotels Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort in Victoria, B.C., on Sept. 11, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
OTTAWA -- The Green party said Tuesday it recently learned of Islamophobic social-media posts by four of its Quebec candidates.
The candidates will make public statements of apology and commit to learning more about Islam by working with the National Council of Canadian Muslims, the party said.
One of the four, Katherine Turgeon, posted a note Tuesday on Facebook suggesting she was simply making a joke in 2013 and did not intend to offend anyone.
The comments were "not racist at all on my part .... sorry for those who took it wrong," wrote Turgeon, who is running in the southern Quebec riding of Shefford.
The names of the other candidates were not immediately available, and the party would not say when they might make statements.
The election campaign has seen a steady string of revelations about inappropriate comments by candidates from various parties, including the Greens.
The party said it would review its internal policies and procedures to find ways of better standing up against Islamophobia and racism.
The party stressed it is working for a better future in which all Canadians can flourish.
News of the controversial comments came as Green Leader Elizabeth May visited Kamloops, B.C., to call for fundamental change to Canada's taxation system to make it more fair.
"Reform is long overdue," May said in a statement. "In this rich country, the growing gap between rich and poor is just plain wrong."
The Greens advocate an arm's-length Federal Tax Commission to analyze the system for fairness and accessibility. "Closing tax loopholes that benefit the wealthy will be a priority," May said.
The party would increase the federal corporate tax rate to 21 per cent from 15 per cent to bring it into line with the United States, maintain the current level of taxation for small business and charge a five-per-cent surtax on commercial bank profits. Credit unions, caisses populaires and co-ops would be exempt.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 15, 2019.