Grand Forks, B.C., mayor apologizes for calling Syrian refugees potential ‘terrorists’

By Chris Walker
CBC News | September 11, 2017

The mayor of Grand Forks, B.C., is apologizing for calling Syrian refugees potential « pedophiles » and « terrorists, » but insists he is « not in any way a racist. »

He responded after CBC News was shown a video of a public meeting held two years ago.

Mayor Frank Konrad made a series of comments before a vote at a city council meeting on Sept. 14, 2015, during a debate over whether to support Syrian refugees coming to the community.

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The mayor’s comments are « discriminatory and disappointing, » said Amira Elghawaby, with the National Council of Canadian Muslims who watched the exchange recently.

The mayor, she said, is a « a public official who really should know better, and who should be weighing his words carefully, rather than engaging in fear-mongering and misinformation. »

« The idea that there are specific security risks in the case of bringing Syrian refugees into Canada, versus any other population of refugees, is in itself discriminatory, » she said.

Elghawaby also criticized council’s silence.

« This is an example where even if you’re listening to someone making any kind of racist comments, it’s critical that people call that out immediately. »

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