The NDP says an online ad that mistakes one progressive conservative MPP of color for another is an honest mistake, but Prime Minister Doug Ford’s office calls it “racially insensitive.”
At stake is a targeted Facebook ad that featured Sheref Sabawy (Mississauga-Erin Mills) alongside Ford, but identifies him as MPP Kaleed Rasheed (Mississauga East-Cooksville), noting in large print “Doug Ford and his MPP they’ve paid for sick days … why not, haven’t they?
The ad appeared last spring as part of a campaign to pressure the government to legislate paid sick days so that workers in low-wage or no-benefit jobs can afford to stay home when sick or have time off to get sick. COVID-19 test.
Ford’s office said Wednesday the confusion was misplaced.
“We call on the NDP to immediately apologize for placing a racially insensitive ad that misleads two of our government group members,” said a statement released after Ford held its first press conference in three weeks.
“We would and should expect better from the Official Opposition. (NDP Leader) Andrea Horwath owes an apology to both Mr. Sabawy and Mr. Rasheed, and frankly to the people of Ontario. “
A short time later, Horwath said he “had no idea” which ad the Ford office was referring to.
“If there was any mistake, it certainly wasn’t malice or any kind of racial bias,” he told reporters.
A statement released mid-afternoon by NDP provincial director Lucy Watson provided more details.
“In April 2021, the NDP produced a series of charts that take into account every PC MPP who voted against paid sick days. One of those graphics had a mismatched name and photo, and was removed on April 30 as a result. We take responsibility for the error and regret any confusion it may have caused. “
New Democratic MP Peggy Sattler (London West) had proposed a private membership bill that stipulated 14 paid sick days, which was defeated. Subsequently, the government introduced three paid sick days.
The Queen’s Park political parties are preparing for the upcoming provincial elections on June 2.
Rasheed is Ford’s Associate Minister of Digital Government.
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