A provincial cabinet minister in Newfoundland and Labrador has apologized for comments deemed racist by one of the province’s largest Indigenous groups.
Environment Minister Perry Trimper apologized to the Innu of Labrador on Thursday after the group released an audio recording in which Trimper is heard saying the Innu are prone to “playing the race card.”
The recording starts with a low-key voicemail message from Trimper to an Innu Nation staff member about drivers’ licences, but the recording continues to pick up a conversation Trimper has with someone after he fails to hang up his phone.
Trimper later issued an apology to the grand chief of the Innu Nation, Greg Rich, and his executive assistant Dominic Rich, who received the message.
Premier Dwight Ball issued a statement saying he also apologized to the grand chief, saying Trimper’s comments don’t reflect the views of his Liberal government.
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Ball says his government values its relationship with the Innu Nation and holds the group in the “highest respect.”