Doug Ford says Ontario opposition playing politics over his 'bang on' comments about immigrants
Ontario Premier Doug Ford said he believes opposition parties are playing politics over his comments on immigrants and said he's been told his remarks were "bang on."
Ford was asked on Wednesday by Brampton East MPP Gurratan Singh in Question Period whether he is ready to apologize for the comments that "play into racist stereotypes about new Canadians."
"Those comments were hurtful, divisive, and wrong," Singh said.
Ford responded to Singh by saying he has been "inundated with messages from your community, the Sikh community, that said 'You were bang on.'"
The comments about immigrants were made in Tecumseh while Ford was speaking to reporters about a labour shortage on Monday.
"We're in such desperate need of people from around the world," he said.
The premier then specified that he only wanted “hard-working” people to come to Ontario.
"You come here like every other new Canadian. You work your tail off," Ford said. "If you think you're coming to collect the dole and sit around, it’s not going to happen. Go somewhere else."
On Wednesday, Singh asked Ford if he was ready to apologize, adding the comments were "just plain wrong."
"Stop playing politics and let's speak the truth," Ford responded to Singh. "You know the backbone of this province are great hard-working immigrants."
"My phone is blowing up all night, all day, day before, from immigrants telling me their story … I'm the biggest pro-immigrant premier we’ve ever seen here."
Ford told Singh he will "go to his community and door knock and see the response from the Sikh community."
He said he's been told already by the Sikh community that his comments were "bang on" and that he needs to "stay focused."
Many Ontario politicians spoke out and demanded Ford apologize on Monday.
Ford was asked on Tuesday by the NDP to apologize for the "discriminatory" comments. He did not, and instead used the opportunity to say he is "pro-immigration."