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‘He is not Canada’: London North Centre MP reacts to Don Cherry firing

London North Centre Liberal MP Peter Fragiskatos.
London North Centre Liberal MP Peter Fragiskatos. Andrew Graham / 980 CFPL

A London-area Liberal member of parliament is praising Sportsnet’s decision to cut ties with Don Cherry.

On Monday, the sports network announced they would be parting ways with the long-time co-host of Coach’s Corner following televised remarks in which he claimed new immigrants don’t wear poppies and implied they don’t support veterans.

The comments earned a swift response on social media from London North Centre MP Peter Fragiskatos, who called for Cherry’s removal.

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READ MORE: Don Cherry refuses to apologize for ‘you people’ rant in aftermath of poppy controversy

On Tuesday, Fragiskatos praised Sportsnet’s handling of Cherry, adding that his removal was the “right decision.”

“I think that the sentiment he expressed on the weekend was objectionable and I’m not surprised, frankly, that Rogers took the decision that they did,” Fragiskatos said.

During an appearance on the Craig Needles Show, the Liberal MP warned of the consequences of the argument Cherry presented in his comments.

“He’s actually championing a particular conception of national identity that is so divisive, and not just divisive, but dangerous,” Fragiskatos said.

“Once we start othering other Canadians, then they become something different. They’re not Canadian anymore, in people’s eyes.”

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“He is not Canada,” Fragiskatos added.

“Canada is about welcoming people from all walks of life from throughout the world, that’s what helped to build the country.”

READ MORE: Here’s what you need to know about Don Cherry

In a later interview with the Canadian Press, Cherry refused to apologize for his comments, saying he could have kept his job as co-host of Hockey Night in Canada segment if he’d agreed to become “a tame robot who nobody would recognize.”

Fragiskatos, who said he grew up watching Hockey Night in Canada, added that while he respect what Cherry has done for the sport, he cannot respect his views on politics and society.

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