Letters: Apology for racist rant offered

Dear Editor,

Re: “Richmond man vents to Asian group,” News, June 11

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On Sunday, June 7, at the Convention Centre in Vancouver, I regrettably was the guilty party who made unwarranted and racist remarks to an innocent party of people waiting in line for lunch. The group was originally from Taiwan and worked for a media company. I am sorry for what I said, which was picked up by social media.

I apologize, unconditionally, to the group who were offended by my remarks. The group, as a whole, had every right to feel offended and I am taking responsibility for my unacceptable comments. 

My frustration, on an exceptionally bad day for me, has its roots in my being an advocate for the cessation of the practice of birth tourism in the Lower Mainland, but most specifically, in Richmond, where I live. Unfortunately, for reasons that escape me, the Minister of Immigration, Marco Mendicino, has not deemed this problem as a priority.

Media sources, including CBC The Fifth Estate and the Richmond News have done major stories on this problem, which is rooted in a loophole in the tourism visa process. The loophole, from the information that I have, is an administrative one, that could be quickly corrected, if the political will was there.

By eliminating this administrative loophole, the maternity wards in the Lower Mainland would be able to free up much needed space to expectant mothers who respected the process and did not jump the line. 

Again, my apologies, and my concern in regards to the unacceptable and unfair practice of birth tourism, that we all should collectively be outraged about moving forward.

 Peter Hanssens

RICHMOND

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