Sat | May 26, 2018

Lazy people! - Canadian politician apologises after labelling Jamaicans as unproductive weedheads

Published:Saturday | April 21, 2018 | 12:00 AMCarlene Davis/Gleaner Writer
Smith-McCrossin

Faced with a social media backlash, Canadian Legislative Assembly member Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin, has backtracked on claims that Jamaicans are lazy and underproductive because of their excessive use of ganja.

Smith-McCrossin, a member of the Legislative Assembly for Cumberland North and candidate for leader of the Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative Party in Canada, was one of the loudest voices speaking out against Nova Scotia's new Cannabis Control Act during a debate in the House on Tuesday.

She charged that legalising ganja could potentially make Nova Scotians as unproductive as Jamaicans and added, "I think we already have a productivity problem here in Nova Scotia and we do not need something else to make it worse."

 

SOCIAL MEDIA APOLOGY

 

But yesterday Smith-McCrossin issued an apology through social media for the comments which were condemned as racist and insensitive.

"My comments came about as a result of a conversation I had with a friend of mine who is a woman of colour originally from Jamaica. I made a mistake in my choice of words in the House of Assembly and take full responsibility for that.

"I would have said the same about the impact of heavy cannabis use on any country, but because of this particular conversation, it happened to be Jamaica. I sincerely did not feel that my comments would be viewed in a negative light, but I was wrong," said Smith-McCrossin.

"Again, I apologise for my choice of words and any impression left that this was based on someone's country, race or ethnicity. I am certainly open to meeting individually with anyone offended by these comments to better appreciate their perspective and ensure my words are better chosen in future," added Smith-McCrossin.

carlene.davis@gleanerjm.com