Ontario mayor says 'all lives matter' during meeting on Black History Month
AMARANTH, ONT. -- Amaranth, Ont. Mayor Bob Currie is standing by controversial comments he made during a public discussion about Black History Month.
At a recent Dufferin County council meeting, Shelburne's deputy mayor Steve Anderson said progress was being made against anti-black racism.
Currie followed with, "As far as the Black History Month is concerned, I have no problem whatsoever recognizing those people, but the first lady that talked, she talked about Black Lives Matter. Well, to me, you are discriminating against every other colour there is. All lives matter."
The discussion was promptly ended, and the meeting moved on.
Anderson said he doesn't believe the mayor's comments were intended to be racist but said Currie should be more careful with his words.
"We have to be mindful of what we say and how we say it because words matter, and they have grave impacts on people. (I) hope it was a learning lesson for him and (it's) a reminder to all of us again we have to be careful about what we say," Anderson said.
This isn't the first time the Amaranth mayor's words stirred controversy.
Last summer, Currie's response when asked why a Pride flag wasn't flying over the town's municipal offices resulted in calls for his resignation. He was also ousted from a key county committee.
Currie has since issued a public apology for those comments.
The mayor declined an interview with CTV News but said in a brief phone conversation with a CTV News reporter that he is not a racist "period." He said he stands by what he said in the meeting and also affirms that "in the eyes of the Lord, all lives matter."
Anderson said Currie reached out to him following the meeting. "I think it's important to say that, to clarify what he meant, and I was satisfied with what he had to say."
The township of Amaranth has plans to raise the Pan African flag outside the municipal offices on Saturday.