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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kicking Horse Update Tuesday January 21

Kicking Horse reports 4 cm of snow in the last 24 hours,… Continue reading

Highway Update Tuesday January 21

Watch for slippery sections on Highway 1 from Revelstoke to Leanchoil, just… Continue reading

Alberta man dies in vehicle incident on Trans Canada Highway

The collision occurred Jan. 20, closing the highway east of Revelstoke till 1:30 a.m.

Kicking Horse Update Monday January 20

Kicking Horse reports 2 cm of snow in the last 24 hours,with… Continue reading

Highway Update January 20

Highway 1 is closed just east of Revelstoke according to DriveBC due… Continue reading

VIDEO: Bobcat infiltrates Shuswap couple’s coop, feasts on fowl

Police officers credited for attempting to assist with animal’s extraction

Skier dies at Fernie Alpine Resort

It’s the second person to die in a tree well at a ski resort in B.C. in the past week.

VIDEO: B.C. mom shares ‘insane’ experience of viral dinosaur video

Tabitha Cooper filmed her costumed sons meeting their grandma at the Victoria International Airport

Vancouver Island home to one of Canada’s largest private skateboard collections

Eric Pinto owns hundreds of boards, spanning multiple decades

ICBC to bring in ranking system for collision, glass repair shops

Change comes after the much-maligned auto insurer has faced criticism for sky-high premiums

‘It was just so fast’: B.C. teen recalls 150-metre fall down Oregon mountain

Surrey’s Gurbaz Singh broke his leg on Mount Hood on Dec. 30

B.C. woman crowned the fastest female marathon runner in Canadian history

Malindi Elmore ran an incredible 2:24:50 at the Houston Marathon

Alberta bulldog breeder ordered to refund B.C. buyer over puppy’s behaviour

Tribunal ruled a verbal agreement to send a new dog superseded the written contract

Most Read