An MP's Racist Remarks About Dr. Tam Got Very Different Responses From Canada's Leaders
Canada's Public Health Officer has been in the spotlight more than usual lately. However, Dr. Theresa Tam has received some negative attention during this time. After a Canadian politician made racist remarks about her, the major party leaders all had their own reactions.
In an April 21 tweet, Conservative Party member and leadership candidate Derek Sloan wrote "Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, has failed Canadians. Dr. Tam must go! Canada must remain sovereign over decisions. The UN, the WHO, and Chinese Communist propaganda must never again have a say over Canada's public health!"
The tweet included a video of Sloan sharing his thoughts on the issue. He referenced an email his staff sent out asking if Dr. Tam works for Canada or China.
Sloan accuses the top doc of taking her cues from the World Health Organization, which he claims is controlled by the Chinese government.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, and NDP leader Jagmeet Singh all shared their own very different takes on Sloan's remarks.
After being asked about the statements from the Conservative MP during his April 23 address, Trudeau said "intolerance and racism have no place in our country."
LIVE: PM Justin Trudeau provides update on federal response to COVID-19 EN DIRECT : Le PM Justin Trudeau fait le p… https://t.co/5LNonkyrpM— CPAC (@CPAC) 1587655434.0
He didn't name names, but after saying that diversity is one of Canada's greatest strengths, he concluded, "We need to continue in our resolve to be an open, welcoming, respectful country," he said, "and I think all Canadians expect that of every politician."
During a press conference the same day, Andrew Scheer was asked to comment on Sloan's remarks. However, he refused to do so on the basis that he would not comment on any leadership candidate.
"I won’t be commenting on individual statements or positions that leadership candidates take, that’s up to them to explain," he said. "Ultimately, the members of our party will decide."
From the beginning of this crisis, we’ve heard horrible stories of abuse faced by Asian Canadians, particularly tho… https://t.co/ZPzD1UcLCD— Jagmeet Singh (@Jagmeet Singh) 1587662790.0
Jagmeet Singh specifically called out Scheer in a tweet, writing "From the beginning of this crisis, we’ve heard horrible stories of abuse faced by Asian Canadians, particularly those of Chinese descent."
"There is no question that MP Sloan’s comments against Dr. Theresa Tam fuel this kind of racism. Andrew Scheer needs to clearly denounce this."
Dr. Tam had recently received a wave of support on Twitter, and continues to share updates on Canada's pandemic situation.