Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada Geoff Regan stands during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018. Regan has apologized for an apparent incident of racial profiling on Parliament Hill, saying all who visit the precinct must be treated with fairness, dignity and respect. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Speaker apologizes for apparent racial profiling incident on Parliament Hill

House of Commons Speaker Geoff Regan made the comments during an event called Black Voices

House of Commons Speaker Geoff Regan has apologized for an apparent case of racial profiling on Parliament Hill, saying all who visit the precinct must be treated with fairness, dignity and respect.

The incident took place earlier this month during an event called Black Voices on the Hill, prompting a complaint to the Speaker from Liberal MP Greg Fergus.

The Federation of Black Canadians said several participants in the lobbying event were referred to as “dark-skinned people” and asked to leave a parliamentary cafeteria.

READ MORE: Community leaders in Jody Wilson-Raybould’s B.C. riding voice support for MP

The Parliamentary Protective Service apologized at the time and said the force was investigating the incident, adding it has zero tolerance for any type of discrimination.

The service has promised to inform the Speaker when its investigation is complete.

In a ruling delivered in the Commons on Tuesday, Regan called the service’s apology a welcome first step, but said it should not be seen as closing the issue or as a way to erase the harsh and unacceptable reality of what happened.

“While one transgression does not represent the actions of all, one is too many and none can be overlooked, dismissed or excused,” Regan said.

Fergus and Halifax MP Andy Fillmore asked Regan to investigate the incident as a violation of parliamentary privilege — the rights of legislators to do their work unimpeded. Regan said the matter was not, strictly speaking, a question of privilege because it did not involve a member of Parliament, nor did it concern the proceedings of the House or a committee.

READ MORE: Trudeau’s principal secretary, Gerald Butts, resigns amid SNC-Lavalin furor

However, Regan said those facts in no way diminished the importance of the matter. If visitors are not treated with respect on Parliament Hill, which is the heart of our democracy, “it is a failure on our part and for that reason, I offer my sincere apologies,” he said.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Police investigating man’s death in Winlaw

Foul play not established, but major crimes unit is investigating

Laura Sacks wins Suzy Hamilton Legacy Award

Sacks is the second recipient of the award supporting women environmental activists

New Nelson at its Best initiative offers connections for parents

U-Time Cafés take place every Wednesday at Rosemont School

Woman raising funds to save historic Rossland piano

Rare Steinway piano was in Miners Hall for a century, but was headed to the dump

Nelson Reflections win at synchro provincials

Nelson’s synchronized swimming team triumphed at the Jean Peters Provincial Championship

600 new campsites coming to provincial parks and recreation sites across B.C.

Tourism Minister announced half of the new spots to 13 most popular provincial parks

B.C. woman left ‘black and blue’ after being pushed off 40-foot cliff at lake

West Shore RCMP looking for witnesses as investigation continues

Grand Forks woman assaulted in home invasion

The incident took place Wednesday morning

Kootenay youth substance use trending downward: survey

A bi-annual survey distributed to regional schools shows that youth substance use is decreasing

Thunderstorms to bring heavy rain, risk of flash floods in the southern Interior

Ten to 30 millimetres of rain to fall over the early weekend

Unbe-leaf-able: Agassiz man finds more than 200 four-leaf clovers in a month

Walt Hardinge has found more than 219 four-or-more leaf clovers this spring alone

Crews fight fire with fire to keep blaze from northern Alberta town

The wildfire now covers some 920 square kilometres

Man in B.C. charged with murder and arson in 2016 New Brunswick death

He is charged in the death of 71-year-old Lucille Maltais, who was found inside a burned down home

Improve your life and theirs, adopt a cat from the BC SPCA

The BC SPCA holds an adult cat adoption promotion

Most Read