Calgary Tory assailed over immigrants-and-crime comment

Posted by admin on Sep 25th, 2008

Jason Fekete, Canwest News Service. Published: Thursday, September 25, 2008

CALGARY – Opposition parties are demanding Calgary Conservative incumbent Lee Richardson immediately resign for controversial comments that suggested immigrants are to blame for much of the crime in Canada. In an interview with a Calgary weekly newspaper published Thursday, Richardson is quoted as saying many crimes aren’t committed by people who “grew up next door” and immigrants aren’t as law-abiding. “Particularly in big cities, we’ve got people that have grown up in a different culture, and they don’t have the same background in terms of the stable communities we had 20, 30 years ago in our cities . . . and don’t have the same respect for authority or people’s person or property,” Richardson told Fast Forward Weekly, when asked about recent gun violence in Calgary.

“Talk to the police. Look at who’s committing these crimes,” added Richardson, the Tory candidate in Calgary Centre. “They’re not the kid that grew up next door.”

Richardson later said he regretted the comments and that he misspoke.

Calgary Centre NDP candidate Tyler Kinch immediately demanded that Richardson resign from the campaign, or that Conservative Leader Stephen Harper fire him – a sentiment also shared by the federal Liberals.

“We must expect more out of our community leaders,” Kinch told reporters on Thursday. “Mr. Richardson’s comments are hurtful, unfair, untrue and unproductive . . . Lee Richardson must resign.”

Liberal public safety critic Ujjal Dosanjh called Richardson’s comments “disgraceful” and urged Harper to turf him.

“If Prime Minister Harper does not take action and fire his candidate one can only assume he condones such attitudes. It’s clear that the old Reform Party view towards immigration is still alive and well in this Conservative party,” Dosanjh said in a statement.

Richardson was door-knocking Thursday and couldn’t immediately be reached for further comment.

Harper, however, could land right in the storm, when he arrives in Calgary Thursday night for a campaign event Friday morning.

Comments are closed.