WARNING: This story comprises disturbing language.
A Conservative senator from Nova Scotia has apologized within the Senate for feedback he made concerning the response of Ottawa residents to the “Freedom Convoy” demonstration that had occupied the town’s downtown for 3 weeks.
Sen. Michael MacDonald was captured on video expressing support for the protesters, and disparaging the response of residents against the noise, idling, and different points that got here with the occupation.
“Oh, I hear this on a regular basis – ‘They’re in our metropolis’ – It’s everyone’s f—— metropolis,” MacDonald is heard saying. “That is the capital of the nation. It’s not your g—— metropolis simply because you have got a six-figure wage and you’re employed 20 hours per week.”
When reached by CTV Information Sunday night time, MacDonald mentioned he was “mortified” and mentioned he would apologize. MacDonald defined that the video was recorded Wednesday night time when he was getting back from dinner and had been consuming. He mentioned he had requested the particular person with the digital camera to not report.
Standing within the Senate on Monday, MacDonald apologized to the residents of Ottawa for his remarks.
“I left the impression that I agreed with vans being illegally parked within the downtown and made some mangled remarks concerning the sentiments of individuals in Ottawa concerning the protest,” he mentioned. “So, I first wish to apologize to the folks of Ottawa for my clumsy language. It was not my intention to disparage anybody.”
In the course of the recorded dialog, MacDonald mentioned he did not thoughts protesters leaving Windsor or different border crossings, however on the subject of Ottawa, “I do not need them to depart,” he whispered.
Within the Senate, he defined that he solely supported the push to take away COVID-19 public well being measures.
“Like so many Canadians, I’m mentally exhausted after two years of lockdowns and a 3rd yr dealing with extra of the identical. It was the demand to open this nation again up that I assist,” he mentioned.
MacDonald acknowledged the frustration Ottawa residents felt due to the three-week lengthy protest and occupation, however blamed the municipal authorities for permitting it to occur.
“After I arrived for work over three weeks in the past and noticed the vans throughout Wellington Road, I could not consider that this was allowed to happen,” he mentioned. “Ottawa has knowledgeable, well-trained, trendy police pressure, which, if correctly directed, is greater than able to stopping a scenario like this from creating. This failure is the duty of metropolis corridor.”
MacDonald acknowledged his privilege in with the ability to retain a paycheque all through the pandemic and mentioned if “this unlucky episode” brings consideration to among the points dealing with Canadians who’ve been unable to work or go to high school due to public well being mandates, “then my current embarrassment can have achieved one thing constructive.”
MacDonald additionally apologized within the Senate to his spouse, whom he referred to as “a Karen” within the recording, saying she is “the salt of the Earth and the rock of my household.”
A “Karen” is a derisive time period typically used on-line to explain somebody who complains about vaccination and COVID-19 masks mandates. In reality, Sen. MacDonald’s spouse is called Marilyn, in keeping with his Senate biography.
Saying he loves Ottawa, MacDonald informed his colleagues he’s contrite.
“I am sorry for these I’ve dissatisfied,” he mentioned. “I anticipate higher from me and I’ll do higher going ahead.”
With information from CTV Nationwide Information Senior Political Correspondent Glen McGregor