Tag Archives: english

Indian Residential School Apology from Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mr. Poilievre


Area Tory’s ‘racist’ remarks cloud apology

Poilievre says he regrets questioning merits of settlement with aboriginals

Juliet O’Neill, with files from Tim Shufelt, The Ottawa Citizen

Prime Minister Stephen Harper was on the defensive yesterday over the remarks of a Conservative MP who undermined his historic apology to aboriginal peoples by questioning “the value for all this money” survivors of residential schools are eligible to receive under a compensation settlement.

Pierre Poilievre, the Nepean-Carleton MP who serves as parliamentary secretary, expressed regret for his “hurtful and wrong” comments in the House of Commons just moments before question period. But his brief apology had little impact on Liberal MPs, who branded his remarks disgraceful and racist and demanded he step down as parliamentary secretary to the president of the treasury board.

Assembly of First Nations Chief Phil Fontaine said in an interview the remarks were “just really unfortunate” distractions from Mr. Harper’s apology, which was, in part, “about casting aside old attitudes and old stereotypes” like the ones Mr. Poilievre expressed. Chief Fontaine, who praised the apology during an appearance in the Senate with other aboriginal leaders, said the government apology remains “the important moment,” despite the MP’s remarks.

Mr. Poilievre also suggested aboriginals need to work harder rather than receive more money. He appeared unaware the $1.9-billion compensation settlement is the result of years of negotiations by government, churches and aboriginal representatives. The talks are aimed at reducing and containing a growing number of lawsuits over the mistreatment, including widespread physical and sexual assaults, of several generations of aboriginal children.

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English only for the LPGA? Imagine the Olympics for the few?


Jan Stephenson knew what she was about to say was going to get her in trouble. So the former star of women’s golf did not just say it, she went blazing into the minefield of a looming political debate with the bombshell declaration that “the Asians are killing our tour.”

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LPGA and accusations of racism – what were they thinking? Just have the best players, play! Unless they want an English only club?


LPGA seems to have created public relations mess

Mark Herrmann
August 27, 2008

It is hard to say which ideal gets trampled more by the LPGA’s new speak-English-or-you’re-out policy, the spirit of golf or the spirit of America. Either way, the women’s professional golf tour has turned a no-win situation into a big loss.

A little hint that this was going to be trouble was the way it came out. The LPGA didn’t hold a news conference. Instead, it leaked in a hard-hitting story on Golfweek magazine’s Web site. The gist is this: The LPGA, worried about losing interest among fans and sponsors, said it will suspend players who can’t pass an English oral exam after two years on tour.

This appears aimed directly at South Koreans, who represent 45 of the 121 international players on the tour and who – British Women’s Open champion Ji-Yai Shin and U.S. Women’s Open champion Inbee Park, to name two – are dominating. The rule is not mean-spirited, but it sure does head the tour down an awfully icy slope without brakes.

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