Metro chair apologizes to Patricia Ross for comments

Lois Jackson has issued a verbal and written apology for comments she made about Fraser Valley Regional District chair Patricia Ross.

Jackson, chair of Metro Vancouver and Mayor of Delta, was speaking on a Vancouver radio show last week.

While discussing Metro Vancouver’s waste management plan, which includes a proposal to incinerate garbage, the radio host quoted Ross as saying there are  “absolutely no conditions under which incineration of garbage will be acceptable to us.”

Jackson countered that argument with the following statement.

“Well, you know, we can take an absolute stand on anything. And we have seen what happened when a gentleman took an absolute stand in another part of the world. I don’t believe in moving ahead in that manner. You cannot take absolutes in today’s world.”

While she did not make a direct comparison, Jackson’s comment could be interpreted as comparing Ross to Anders Behring Breivik, the man involved in last week’s bombing and shooting spree that killed 76 people in Oslo, Norway.

Shortly after the interview Jackson contacted Ross.

“She phoned me a couple of times after the interview and did apologize,” said Ross. “As far as I’m concerned, that’s the end of the matter.”

Jackson also issued a written apology to Ross and to the media.

In her release Jackson wrote “In responding to a question during the interview, I was looking for examples of how absolute positions do not foster constructive dialogue and ultimately limit outcomes. In my effort to do so, my choice of wording resulted in a very poor analogy.”

She went on to write, “I would like to express my unqualified apology for this most unfortunate mistake.”


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