An Indigenous NDP MPP accused by Ontario’s premier of jumping the line for his COVID-19 vaccine says he received an apology, but is calling for a broader apology to the province’s Indigenous community instead.
“I think we need to be able to look at, it’s not me he needs to apologize to but Indigenous people across Ontario to undo the damage that was done of the vaccination strategy that we were working towards,” he continued.
Mamakwa said they did not talk about whether Ford would be making a public apology.
“It’s the Indigenous people across Ontario that need a public apology from him,” he said. “An attack on me is an attack on Indigenous people and he needs to publicly apologize for that.”
Ford came under fire on Thursday for suggesting Indigenous chiefs were upset Mamakwa flew in to a remote community to receive his vaccine.
Mamakwa disputed Ford’s claim the same day saying it was community elders who invited him to take the vaccine to help combat vaccine hesitancy among Indigenous residents in Ontario.
He did not attempt to hide his vaccination, posting a video to his Twitter on Feb. 1 about his experience, while the NDP also released a statement announcing his plans.
The phone call Friday was only about a minute to a minute-and-a-half, Mamakwa said, adding Ford invited him to continue the conversation at his office.
Mamakwa said he would rather see action than hear words, mentioning he’d like to see the province working towards vaccine clinics for Indigenous residents living in urban areas like Toronto and Thunder Bay.
It was that exact topic that Mamakwa was pressing Ford on during Question Period that led to the premier’s remarks.
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