It’s been over one week since a Postmedia story was published that contained a controversial remark made by Alberta Premier Jason Kenney.
While speaking with Calgary Sun columnist Rick Bell, Kenney made what many believe was an insensitive comment regarding the origins of the COVID-19 virus in Wuhan, China.
On Saturday, members of Calgary’s Chinese community gathered outside of the McDougall Centre to call on the premier to make a formal apology.
Some of those in attendance feel Kenney’s comments contributed to the discrimination and anti-Asian hate that some Chinese citizens have experienced since the start of the pandemic.
“People cannot express their anger with China,” said Jiannong Wu. “They express it with us.”
Another protestor, Rona Kong, feels the comments have added to her already feeling ostracized by her ethnicity.
“For him to say this it makes me feel almost scared to say that I’m Chinese.” said Kong.
“I also feel ashamed of this province in a way.”
On Saturday, the premier’s press secretary told Global News that Kenney had made an apology during an interview on Dec. 24.
“I do want say that by the way, if anybody did take offense, that I apologize to them,” the emailed transcript of Kenney’s apology said. “If they took offense, certainly none was intended.
“I’m sorry if people felt offended by what I said, that was not my intention. And I certainly want to thank the Chinese Canadian community in Alberta for the tremendous care that it has shown in being responsible during COVID.”
Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley and other members of the caucus have called for Kenney to further address the comments.
“I think it’s critically important for this government to make that statement and make it clear that people from Alberta come from many different backgrounds, cultures and talents and they all belong here” said Alberta NDP MLA Irfan Sabir.
Wu feels the premier failed in his duties as leader of the province.
“His job is to unite us, not divide us.”