Friday, September 19, 2008

Harper's Quebec Chief Apologizes After Algonquins Offended

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper responds to a question.

From the CBC:

MONTREAL (CBC) - The office of a Conservative MP and cabinet minister has issued an apology to Algonquins in his western Quebec riding after his riding assistant made remarks that some denounced as racist.

The comments by Darlene Lannigan came at the Maniwaki, Que., launch this week of the re-election campaign of Lawrence Cannon, transport minister and Conservative Leader Stephen Harper's Quebec lieutenant.

In a conversation recorded by the Aboriginal People's Television Network outside Cannon's Maniwaki campaign office during its opening Tuesday, Norman Matchewan, a member of the Algonquins of Barriere Lake, asked Lannigan if he will be arrested if he visits Cannon's campaign office.

The Barriere Lake reserve is about 300 kilometres northwest of Ottawa in Cannon's riding of Pontiac, and a group including Matchewan had visited the office for a rally.

"If you behave and you're sober and there's no problem and if you sit down and whatever, I don't care," a female voice that the network identified as Lannigan responds in the recording.

She goes on to say that "one of them showed up the other day and was drinking."

When contacted by CBC News, Lannigan would not deny she made the remarks.

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