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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Matthew Wedman was selected in the 2019 NHL entry draft by the Florida Panthers. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
Kelowna Rockets MVP inks deal with Charlotte Checkers

Matthew Wedman was the Kelowna Rockets 2019-20 MVP

(Osoyoos Fire Department)
Osoyoos Fire Department knock down car fire near house

Blaze was ‘really close’ to becoming a structure fire

Colin James put on a great show at the Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds as part of the 2019 Vancouver Island MusicFest. But his Okanagan tour for 2020 has been postponed until 2021. (Photo by Terry Farrell)
COVID-19 cancels more Vernon, Penticton, Cranbrook concerts

The Contenders and Colin James postponed until 2021

Canadian Horizons is taking steps to develop a 320-unit residential neighbourhood at 1050 Spiller Road, northeast of the City of Penticton. (Canadian Horizons photo)
Penticton Indian Band opposes Canadian Horizons development

Proposed residential development will remove the protected rights of the syilx Nation, says PIB

This picture taken in yesteryears shows how popular the Naramata public beach has been over the years.
(Naramataslow)
It does take a village to save a beach

Nearly $600K raised so far to preserve Naramata park

Vernon Fire Rescue Services and Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP were called to a report of an electrical fire at the emergency response centre operated by Turning Points Collaborative Society on 37th Street Sunday, Oct. 18, just before 5:30 p.m. The fire displaced shelter residents who have been set up with services at the Vernon Recreation Complex. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
Vernon shelter residents find refuge in hotels, motels, recreation complex after fire

Electrical fire at Turning Points Collaborative Society’s emergency response centre on 37th Street

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna man charged after allegedly stealing senior’s car

Elderly woman’s car was stolen while she was shopping

Salmon Arm RCMP say residents have been receiving calls from fraudster claiming to be with Publishers Clearing House. (File photo)
Salmon Arm RCMP warn of Publishers Clearing House telephone scam

Police say scammer requests fee to claim sweepstakes prizes

The Summerland Steam will play their first exhibition game of the season on Friday, Oct. 23. Unlike previous years, there will be no spectators allowed in the stands this year in an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Brennan Phillips - Black Press)
Junior B hockey teams to play in empty arenas

Summerland Steam and other teams affected by decision to close facilities to fans

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

A file photo of an RCMP dog. (Campbell River RCMP photo)
Lawsuit claims Kelowna man suffered ‘vicious’ attack by RCMP dog, handler

Fernando Verde claims he was resuscitated at the hospital and needed emergency surgery following the attack

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson visits a North Vancouver daycare to announce his party’s election promises for child care, Oct. 9, 2020. (B.C. Liberal Party video)
B.C. parties pitch costly child care programs in pandemic

B.C. Liberals say they’ll deliver on NDP’s $10-a-day promise for lower-income families

Most Read