NDP Leader John Horgan, right to left, Green leader Sonia Furstenau and Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson prepare for a debate at the Chan Centre in Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, October 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

NDP Leader John Horgan, right to left, Green leader Sonia Furstenau and Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson prepare for a debate at the Chan Centre in Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, October 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Horgan attempts to clarify ‘I don’t see colour’ debate answer with Twitter post

A day after the debate, Horgan revised his answer on Twitter, admitting it could have upset people

NDP Leader John Horgan is trying to clarify an answer he gave on white privilege during Tuesday night’s leaders debate in the B.C. election.

In a statement issued on Twitter, Horgan says he wished he had given a different answer when the three party leaders were asked how they have reckoned with white privilege.

Horgan answered by sharing his experience playing lacrosse as a youth, saying he doesn’t see colour.

Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson discussed his time working in rural B.C. as a doctor in Indigenous communities.

The Green party’s Sonia Furstenau said she cannot comprehend that some mothers tell their children to be wary of the police.

But Horgan later revised his answer on Twitter, admitting it could have upset people.

“Saying ‘I don’t see colour’ causes pain and makes people feel unseen,” he wrote. “I’m sorry. I’ll never fully understand, as a white person, the lived reality of systemic racism. I’m listening, learning, and I’ll keep working every day to do better.”

At a campaign stop on Wednesday in Richmond, Horgan expanded on his Twitter comment.

“I was jolted out of my comfort last night and I’m going to reflect on that. I profoundly regret that I alienated and hurt people last night.”

The Coalition on Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls in BC has also sent a letter to the three party leaders expressing “grave concern” that safety of Indigenous people does not appear to be a priority for them.

The letter, signed by 18 people and groups including the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, says none of the party platforms released so far offer plans to implement findings from the national inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous women.

The New Democrat and Liberal parties have unveiled their platforms and Furstenau is slated to release her party’s policies and goals at an event in New Westminster later in the day.

In her answer on Tuesday night, Furstenau pledged to work to end systemic racism but admitted neither she nor the other two party leaders, who are all white, could ever grasp its nuances.

The letter from the coalition says the COVID-19 pandemic shows all levels of government can act quickly when failing to do so can be life-threatening.

“The negligence of government and its failure to act swiftly to implement the (findings) betrays a lack of value for the lives of Indigenous women,” the letter says.

The letter urges each party to immediately release its plan to act on the findings and to respond to recommendations from the committee about how the plan will be implemented and funded.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

BC GreenBC LiberalsBC NDPBC politicsBC Votes 2020

Just Posted

The new emergency department at Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Conference Centre is slated to open June 8. (Screenshot from Province of BC video)
Expanded emergency department slated to open in June at Abbotsford Regional Hospital

Project cost $15 million with an additional $1.25 million donated for equipment

Abbotsford Christian Middle & Secondary School closed until May 25 after 10-day exposure. (File photo)
Entire population of Abbotsford Christian Middle & Secondary recommended for testing after COVID cluster

Several staff and students affected after continuous 10-day exposure; campuses closed until May 25

The Reach Gallery Museum is one of three Abbotsford arts and culture organizations to receive Pivot Program grants through the provincial government. (Abbotsford News file photo)
Three Abbotsford arts organizations receive $70K in B.C. grants

Funding awarded through provincial government’s Pivot Program

Jonathan Prest had to climb way up to the top of a dead red cedar tree to rescue a terrified cat, but he made it up and down successfully. (Facebook photos)
Rosedale tree cutter rescues cat stuck 100 feet up a dead and dried-out cedar

Jonathan Prest put himself in extreme peril to get a terrified cat out of a dangerous situation

A lumber planer has been installed at the former Metric Modular site as PowerWood works on moving from Surrey to Agassiz. Established in 1995, the red cedar product manufacturer will have plenty of room to grow in Agassiz, said co-owner Jake Power. (Adam Louis/Observer)
Surrey cedar processor PowerWood moving to Agassiz

The company ships red cedar projects all over the world

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

RCMP officers stand near a body covered with a tarp in the parking lot of a shopping complex after one person was killed and two others were injured during a shooting in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Man, 23, killed in latest Lower Mainland shooting had gang ties: IHIT

Jaskeert Kalkat was one of the three people hit by gunfire at Market Crossing mall at around 8:30 p.m.

A COVID-19 patient receives oxygen outside a hospital in Jammu, India, Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (AP/Channi Anand)
B.C. donates $500K to Red Cross COVID-19 relief efforts in India

The money will provide oxygen cylinders and ambulances for patients in communities grappling with the virus

Superintendent Aaron Paradis, community services officer with the Surrey RCMP, during a media availability about a recent drug bust in Port Coquitlam. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Police seize 13 million ‘potentially fatal doses’ of pure fentanyl at B.C. drug lab

The evidence was seized at large, illicit drug manufacturing site in Port Coquitlam

Police are asking the public for help identifying a suspect who allegedly hurled anti-Asian slurs at a family in a Richmond drive-through on May 1. (Benjamin Wong/Screen grab)
Suspect at large in racist tirade at Richmond drive-thru, says RCMP

The Caucasian man was recorded May 1 yelling anti-Asian slurs at a Richmond family in the lineup

B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth debates the province’s latest measure to control crime, March 10, 2021. The legislation allows police to impound vehicles used to transport weapons and further restricts sale of vehicle and body armour. (B.C. legislature video)
B.C. seeking ways to ‘name and shame’ gangsters, minister says

Mike Farnworth appeals to family members to talk to police

The Greater Victoria School District continues to face backlash over its wording and approach to Indigenous learners in its 2021-2022 budget talks. (Black Press Media file photo)
School district’s approach to Indigenous learners leaves Victoria teachers ‘disgusted’

Backlash grows over ‘pattern of colonial thinking permeating the leadership’

Italian-Canadian prisoners at the Kananaskis prisoner of war camp in Alberta. (University of Calgary/Contributed)
Italian moved to Okanagan with hope; he ended up being sent to a WWII internment camp

Raymond Lenzi shares his grandfather’s story ahead of Canada’s planned formal apology to Italian-Canadians

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read