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

Almost every health region in the province saw an increase in overdose calls last year. (Blackpress files)
Overdose call numbers reach five-year-high in Maple Ridge.

BC Emergency Health Services responded to almost 500 local calls in 2020

Cam Blake released his first album called <em>Bad Vacation</em> on Jan. 15. (Special to The News)
Maple Ridge musician releases first album

Cam Blake’s first album, Bad Vacation, released Jan. 15

Members of the Maple Ridge Disc Golf Club team up to update the “frolf” course at Thornhill Park. (Special to The News)
Maple Ridge Disc Golf Club helps upgrade local course

Thornhill Park frisbee links usage has skyrocketed since pandemic

Cody Malawsky at the box lacrosse provincials in 2019. As the highly skilled player adds size he will dominate junior, predicts longtime coach Daren Fridge. (Tim McCormick/Special to The News)
Ridge Meadows Hospice Society volunteer Jill Constable. (Ridge Meadows Hospice Society/Special to The News)
Ridge Meadows Hospice celebrating 25 years

Celebratory White Dove Dinner raising money for support and grief programs

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

The Elk Valley Hospital is adapting to meet the needs of patients in the Elk Valley.
1-in-5 COVID tests coming back positive in and around Fernie, sparking concern

Dr Ron Clark of Elk Valley Hospital said one in five tests was returning positive for COVID-19

Throughout December, RCMP conducted CounterAttack road checks as police worked to keep roads free of impaired drivers. (BLACK PRESS file photo)
‘You can’t make this stuff up’: Stories from the B.C. CounterAttack campaign

Amusing, yes, but a reminder impaired driving affects ability to drive and to make good decisions

Snow is forecasted to appear in parts of Metro Vancouver this weekend. (Black Press Media files)
Snow forecasted for parts of Lower Mainland this weekend

Environment Canada is predicting flurries and snow from Saturday to Monday evening

Most Read