Yellowknife City Councillor Niels Konge says he’s sorry for comments he made at a city committee meeting on Monday, Nov. 1.
On Nov. 2, Black Advocacy Coalition Up North (BACupNorth) posted a letter on Facebook demanding Konge publicly apologize for comparing a proposed proof-of-vaccine program with racial segregation policies.
On Nov. 3, he did so, saying he intended to make a more formal statement at the next council meeting Nov. 8.
“I want to apologize for the comparison that I made yesterday,” he wrote in a message to a Yellowknifer journalist. “It was not an appropriate comparison to make. I’m deeply sorry to the people that my words hurt and harmed. Moving forward, I commit to continuing to learn, improve, and be respectful in our discussions.”
BACupNorth said Tuesday it was “shocked and disappointed” in Konge.
The group issued a statement that said his comments “reveal a severe lack of understanding of the issues that Black people faced and perpetuates the inequities and discrimination that Black people continue to experience today.”
BACupNorth demanded Konge give a public apology to the Black community immediately and that he “educates himself to a better understanding on the issues racialized communities face prior to making future comments.”