Aivilik MLA Patterk Netser offered an apology to the Black community while speaking in the legislative assembly on Wednesday.
Premier Joe Savikataaq stripped Netser of his cabinet portfolios earlier this month following a controversial post on Netser’s personal Facebook page.
“I wish to apologize to the black community. If my questions offended you and your community, I sincerely apologize and please know it was never my intention,” Netser said in the House. “In October, I raised the following question on my (Facebook): ‘All lives matter. Just thinking out loud, the movement on Black Lives Matter, how many black women go through abortion and at what stage? Are they not lives too?’
“I was speaking about those fetuses that are aborted who are voiceless and unable to convey their pain, which I was trying to bring up as a subject. I was not trying to disparage any person as we are to represent those without voices, Mr. Speaker, and these voiceless fetuses have a right to life as soon as they are born,” said Netser. ” My intention was just to bring to light the many thousands of babies aborted throughout the world.”
He insisted that losing his portfolios was unjust as the Government of Nunavut should be practising principles of tolerance, fairness, equality and diversity, including his Christian values.
Savikataaq interjected, saying that he did not strip Netser’s portfolios due to his religious beliefs.
Netser then continued his statement.
“I believe the term used today, “lateral discrimination,” is very fitting to what has transpired. That is the message we are sending to Nunavummiut: that only one view, one opinion, one value, and one principle matters,” he said. “The erosion of diversity in Canada, including Nunavut, is what is at risk today, and I believe Nunavummiut are diverse, open, inclusive, and a respectful society.”
Savikataaq followed later with a motion, seconded by Iqaluit-Manirajak MLA Adam Arreak-Lightstone, to formally remove Netser from cabinet on Friday.