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Mayes: Yes, no, maybe

I guess Conservative MP Colin Mayes feels the hotseat which he’s put himself on – he is issuing statements and retracting them about this Indian “good joke” episode pretty quickly in the press.

First he didnt deny he wrote praise for the joke, but then he had a memory lapse:

Mayes, at first, did not deny writing “good joke” but later said he could not recall whether he wrote that.

Then, he claimed the joke wasnt even directed at natives:

“I can’t remember the joke but I think it is kind of a smear against the civil service … It had nothing to do with First Nations,” the MP from B.C. said.

When challenged on that and shown the terminology that were derogatory towards natives, he couldnt even admit the terminology was disparaging.. before conceding that yea.. maybe it was:

Reminded that it referred to natives in disparaging terms, Mayes said, “I don’t know about that,” then went on to say he would not refer to natives as “Tonto” or “chief,” agreeing that would be unacceptable.

Mayes then tries to pull out the fact that he’s involved in an ethnic family and that should put him above any accusations. Well, that’s great, Mr Mayes.. but just because you are doesnt make it ok to laugh at a joke about another ethnic group… particularly one about a native when you’re the chair of the Commons aboriginal affairs committee.

Initial native groups reaction shows they dont consider this a trivial matter:

M├ętis National Council president Clement Chartier said the email exchange is not “behaviour that is acceptable today … It is bad taste.”

Liberal MP and First Nations Member Tina Keeper isn’t very impressed either:

“I find it offensive,” said Liberal MP Tina Keeper (Churchill), an accomplished Cree actor. She resents the fact that some people still try to portray natives as “cartoon” characters. “How could you not get that this is offensive particularly when you are in that role?”

Mayes hasnt even come out and apologized yet. That should be a bare minimum what he does.. but as I said earlier in comments in the other thread, not only should he resign as the chair, but he should be taken off the Committee altogether.


8 comments to Mayes: Yes, no, maybe

  • Grace

    As a First Nation who grew up on a reserve, I find this “joke” par for the course of any member of the Conservative party. The parties succeeds in rural areas feeding off the threat of land claims settlements and those “indians” taking the land away.

    I would ask Mr. Aaron if he knows how many Conservative/Reform/Alliance members running in elections have ever stepped onto a reservation? I can tell you from experience that throughout all my years growing up on said reservations nary a one ever came to the reserve to speak or solicit votes.

    I just wish the First Nations voters would collectively start voting in blocks in said rural areas. Unfortunately since most didn’t get the right to vote until the 70s they didn’t teach the value of voting in federal elections and leave it up to the neo-cons who have to protect their lands to decide for them.

    It’s an area that I would hope the liberal party and the APC one day addresses and addresses aggressively.

    The guy should be kicked off the committee and he should resign but given Harper’s own bigoted views (cancelling of the Kelowna Accord and the FNTCS being two examples) I doubt he would. Like all issues of controversy they prefer to just wish them away.

  • Scott from Winnipeg

    Substitute “native” for “jew” or “evangelical christian” and watch the unhinged fringe light up.

    BTW – Why is Aaron such a whiny baby?

  • Aaron,

    I grew up down the road from Ipperwash. In fact, Dudley George was related to members of my family.

    The email was a disgrace.

    It doesn’t matter how many times someone has set foot on a reserve.

    You people will defend your own NO MATTER WHAT and that is the real disgrace.

  • As a matter of fact, Aaron, the Walpole Island native community is 5 mins away – I’ve been there a fair bit actually.. thanks for asking. How many native reserves have YOU been to?

    Not that it matters, since this is once again another red herring Blogging tory attempt to change the topic..

    I never thought I’d see the day where I’d say I miss Peter Rempel.

  • Scott Tribe: The Rural Man with the Urban Priorities.

    So how many reserves you been on lately, Scott? After 12 years of Liberal government, I’m sure you’d be thrilled by the pristine conditions that grassroots natives in this country experience. I’d hate to bother you with something substantive, what with MPs doing CRAZY things like receiving email forwards and everything.

    Educate yourself. It would do wonders for my reading experience while visiting here.

  • I’m sorry to reply to trolls – I was going to say something about Mayes being two for two with the ‘throw reporters in jail’ thing before. But “EX-NDIP” you truly are a disgrace. It’s tragic to me that somehow people wind up like you. Anyway, just keep hiding in anonymity and vomiting that hate, and see how much good it does you.


    The joke is funny . . . . give it a rest . . . almost as funny as Stephan Dion trying to talk english.
    Truth is Govt tend to run things poorly . . . . from health care to Kyoto. Get a Govt job and you are set for life. Nobody gets fired from the civil service, its not the real world.

  • […] Now, though, according to Scott Tribe, Mayes is denying the incident ever happened. Perhaps he didn’t see the news report which shows his email (and him apologizing for it). The cover-up is always where you do the real damage. […]

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