Canadian immigration minister apologizes for remarks

By Alex Veeneman on June 19, 2012

Canada’s Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, meeting with Phil Mooney of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council in Toronto in May.
(Photo courtesy of the Canadian government)

The Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has apologized for remarks directed at the deputy premier of the country’s western province of Alberta Thomas Lukaszuk. Kenney telephoned Lukaszuk the afternoon of June 19 to apologize for referring to Lukaszuk as a “complete and utter a–hole” in an e-mail not meant for his attention.

Kenney did not apologize however on the floor of the country’s House of Commons in the capital Ottawa, where the issue arose during a session of Question Period, where MPs ask ministers on policy and views. Linda Duncan, the sole member of the opposition New Democrat Party in Alberta, said according to a report from the National Post newspaper that the remarks had been “so offensive that the rules of this House prevent me from repeating them”. Duncan then asked Kenney if he would apologize. “Given that his reprehensible comments are now public, will the minister of citizenship and immigration take this opportunity to apologize to Mr. Lukaszuk?” Duncan said.

Alexis Pavlich, a spokesperson for Minister Kenney, confirmed to Uloop that Kenney had apologized, but did not discuss whether Kenney would discuss the apology before a session of the Commons. “This is a matter between Minsters Kenney and Lukaszuk,” Pavlich said. “Minister Kenney has apologized directly to Minister Lukaszuk.

Speaking to CBC Radio early that morning, Kenney denied the e-mail was sent. “I didn’t send an email reply to him. And I don’t comment on internal communications,” Kenney said. “I didn’t, neither did my office, did not send an email reply to Mr. Lukaszuk.” The e-mail was sent to colleagues of Kenney’s caucus in Alberta and members of their staff, according to a report from the CBC.

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