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

Surrey killer foiled by cops’ suspicion he was underage in a bar

Birinderjeet Singh Bhangu was shot dead outside the Comfort Inn and Suites Hotel on Fraser Highway

Community invited to help with Downtown Surrey BIA’s fence art project

Association is hoping to change the ‘narrative’ for 135A Street with artwork

Blaine railway stop contingent on international support: All Aboard Washington

Non-profit organizers look to residents of Surrey, White Rock and North Whatcom County

Delta man charged after police surround Tsawwassen home

Troy Kevin Reimer, 52, is charged with one count of uttering or conveying a threat to cause death or bodily harm

Bureaucracy leaves Whalley Legion members thirsty

Legion’s new location needs liquor licence, despite being down street from former digs

VIDEO: B.C. MLA Michelle Stilwell takes first steps in nearly 30 years

‘It actually felt like walking. It’s been 27 years… but it felt realistic to me’

Report of dead body in B.C. park actually headless sex doll

This discovery, made at Manning Park on July 10, led police to uncovering two other sex mannequins

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Dog recovering after being drenched in hot coffee, B.C. man charged

Man was taken into custody, charged, and released pending a court date

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

Science expedition to Canada’s largest underwater volcano departs Vancouver Island

Crews prepared for a two-week research mission to the Explorer Seamount

B.C. shipyard to get one-third of $1.5 billion frigate-repair contract

The federal government has promised to invest $7.5 billion to maintain the 12 frigates

Worried about bats? Here’s what to do if you come across one in B.C.

Bat expert with the BC Community Bat Program urges caution around the small creatures

B.C. on right road with tougher ride-hailing driver rules, says expert

The provincial government is holding firm that ride-hailing drivers have a Class 4 licence

Most Read

l -->