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Ontario's premier refuses to apologize for comments about immigrants

Ontario Premier Doug Ford appears in a blue suit and white shirt in front of a heavy equipment crane.
Doug Ford
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Ontario Premier Doug Ford made his controversial comments while speaking in Tecumseh Monday.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford is refusing to apologize for comments he made about immigrants coming to the province, despite widespread criticism for his comments and demands for an apology.

Ford insists he’s pro immigration, but he’s not stepping back from what he said. On Monday he was speaking in Tecumseh, where he talked about Ontario’s labor shortage. He encouraged people to come to the province where there are plenty of jobs, but he also insisted he wanted only hard working people.

"You come here like every other new Canadian has come here. You work your tail. If you think you’re coming to collect the dole and sit around, it’s not going to happen. Go somewhere else," Ford said.

The Liberal leader, Stephen del Duca, said Ford is trying to drive a wedge between people. New Democrat opposition leader, Andrea Horvath, said the comments echoed demeaning stereotypes associated with immigrants.

In the legislature, NDP member Doly Begum called the comments offensive and asked Ford to apologize.

"His words undermine the uphill battle that immigrants face when they come to this country. Like the struggles my family faced when they came here with the hope for a better life," Begum said. "His words undermine the thousands of New Canadians who have helped Ontario through the past year and a half. Will the premier apologize for his reckless comments?”

There was no apology. Instead, Ford said he was pro immigration and he has the support of people who come from around the world.