Kelowna writer of controversial Conservative Facebook post apologizes

Writer suggested Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan got his job because of affirmative action

The writer of a Facebook post that suggested federal Liberal Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan got his job because of affirmative action is apologizing for the post.

The young man, a Conservative party member, volunteer and former director on the Kelowna-Lake Country Conservative electoral district association board, said his post was not meant to be racist, even though some people in the community have take it that way.

He asked not to be named because he is currently looking for work and fears the notoriety could hurt his chances of landing a job in Kelowna.

The post, which has been taken down, was criticized by both Kelowna-Lake Country Liberal MP Stephen Fuhr and Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola Conservative MP Dan Albas, and members of the public, including members of the Kelowna Indo-Canadian community.

Albas said when Fuhr brought it to his attention he immediately contacted the president of the Conservative EDA in Kelowna-Lake Country to have the post taken down. He added he also apologized to Sajjan on behalf of Okanagan Conservatives.

RELATED: Offensive Facebook post by Okanagan Conservative riding association sparks outrage

The post was with a story from the Ottawa Journal that was being shared that talked about Sajjan not having answers concerning a Canadian Armed Forces flight to Greece and Latvia last year which included a number of civilian, non-political “VIPs.” The VIPs were reportedly drunk on the flight.

The Facebook post comment was: “This is what happens when you have a cabinet based on affirmative action.”

On Thursday afternoon, the Okanagan Conservatives Facebook page carried a new post apologizing for the now-deleted one.

“We’ve deleted an earlier post that was clearly inappropriate and that simply does not reflect the views of the party or any of the EDA’s (electoral district associations) in the Okanagan. We apologize to Minister Sajjan and all those we’ve offended.”

The writer of the offensive comment told the Capital News he made a mistake posting it and feels very bad about doing so.

He described himself as a proud Indo-Canadian himself, and said his comment does not reflect how he, his party of the EDA feel.

“I take full responsibility for it. I was simply looking for a sound bite,” he said.

“I feel bad for embarrassing my party and my EDA.”

Despite political differences with the Liberals, he said as an Indo-Canadian he was proud when Sajjan, a decorated former Canadian soldier who is a Sikh and wears a turban, was named defence minister in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s federal Liberal cabinet.

But after watching him in the role for the last three years, he now now feels Sajjan is the “worst person for the job.”

“He irritates me more than any other cabinet minister,” said poster.

But he added his differences with Sajjan are purely political, not personal.

“I simply made a mistake. I have to own that. I’m sorry.”

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