In the light of uproar over “demeaning” and “racist” statements regarding immigrants, Ontario Premier Doug Ford has refused to apologize, urging newcomers to “go somewhere else” if they want to “collect the dole and sit about.”
The premier made the controversial remarks during a press conference on Monday, where he spoke about the “desperate” labor shortages faced by the province and stressed that his government was supportive of “hard-working people.”
Lamenting that there are not enough skilled trades workers to fill vacancies in infrastructure projects, Ford said he had only “one criteria” for immigrants: They should come and “work your tail off” like “every other new Canadian has.”
“If you think you’re coming to collect the dole and sit around – not going to happen, go somewhere else. You want to work? Come here. We have so much work, we can’t keep up with it right now,” he said.
The comments sparked instant backlash, with the province’s opposition parties calling for an apology. During the legislative Question Period on Tuesday, Ford refused to apologize, saying that he is “pro-immigration” and that his point was that more immigration was needed.