As Minister Of Community Safety And Correctional Services, part of MPP Michael Tibollo’s job is supposed to be fighting racism in Ontario.
But he’s now being accused of acting in a racist way himself when he went on a ride-along with local police in one Toronto neighbourhood.
Tibollo and Premier Doug Ford accompanied Toronto Police recently to the Jane and Finch community, which has a negative stereotype of being dangerous and is populated with a large community of back residence.
Tibollo says that he wore a bulletproof vest for the entire time that he and the premier visited the area.
“I went out to Jane and Finch, put on a bulletproof vest and spent 7 o’clock to 1 o’clock in the morning visiting sites that had previously had bullet-ridden people killed in the middle of the night."
Premier Doug Ford did not wear a vest during the visit, the premier usually travels with plainclothes police officers during such trips.
NDP leader Andrea Worwrath says that Tibollo should apologize to the community for his actions which she calls “racist.”
Another NDP MP, Kevin Yarde, also says the actions by Tibollo crossed a line"I had to actually ask members next to me 'did I actually hear what I actually heard?'"
But this isn’t an uncommon thing to do says a police spokesperson in a statement.
"Since we always err on the side of caution, there is a presumption that the person doing the ride along will be provided with a vest," it reads.
However, some people doubt that. Former chair of the Toronto Police Services Board Alok Mukherjee spoke out on Twitter saying she never wore vests during ride-alongs.
Since when is this a standard procedure? I did not wear a vest in my ridealongs all over the city. https://t.co/iyWqV0pdgh— Alok Mukherjee (@alpinenov) July 18, 2018
Whatever you think it's certainly igniting a fierce debate.