Tory MP won't resign for
[PoliticsWatch updated 6:15 p.m., January 25, 2007]
Indian e-mail joke
|Tory MP Colin Mayes.
OTTAWA — A
B.C. Conservative MP said Thursday he will not resign as head of the
aboriginal affairs committee over a controversy in which he approved
a joke e-mail that the Liberals are calling racist.
As well, Tory MP Colin Mayes is demanding the Liberals
apologize to him for levelling the racism allegations.
A B.C. TV station reported this week that Mayes received the email from a fellow Tory that began "An Indian walks into Tim Horton's
. . ." and ends with a punch line intended to poke fun at the
perceived irresponsibility of senior public servants.
> Read the Joke Here
However, in the e-mail the person behind the counter at the Tim
Horton's refers to the
Indian as "chief" and "Tonto," names which the opposition Liberals described as "racist"
Mayes replied to the email with the words "good joke." The
emails were provided to the TV station by a man who was recently
fired by Mayes' riding association.
The Liberals called for Mayes to step down as chair of the
aboriginal affairs committee on Thursday.
"It is unfortunate that Mr. Mayes would support and find funny something that is so insulting to First
Nations," Liberal MP Anita Neville said in a statement.
"His attitude indicates that he is not qualified to chair the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs. He should resign immediately as chair and apologize to First Nations people. As Chair his responsibility is to ensure that Aboriginals from coast to coast to coast get a fair, unbiased hearing at committee."
Later Thursday, Mayes issued a statement in which he accused Neville
of levelling a "cheap, partisan smear" and of
"completely" misrepresenting his email remark.
Mayes said in his statement that he finds "no humour that
insults the culture or heritage of any group people" in the
e-mail. "Those types of jokes are completely
"I am proud to be the chair of the Parliamentary Aboriginal
Affairs Committee and look forward to continuing in my duties,"
his statement concludes.
Mayes was named chair of the committee in the spring after another
Tory MP, Maurice Vellacott, resigned following comments he
made about Supreme Court judges.
It is not the first time Mayes has been the subject of
Earlier this year, Mayes issued an apology after he wrote a letter
to a local newspaper suggesting some journalists should be put in
jail for writing misleading stories.
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