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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

MP Apologizes for Niqab Comment

Owen Sound | by Jon Meyer  

Miller issues apology; "his comments were inappropriate, but stands by his view."

Larry Miller has apologized.

The Bruce Grey Owen Sound Conservative MP issued an apology Tuesday morning.

"Yesterday I made comments on a radio show that I recognize were inappropriate. I stand by my view that anyone being sworn in as a new citizen of our country must uncover their face. However, I apologize for and retract my comments that went beyond this."

Miller issued the apology after facing a firestorm of criticism over his comments made on the CFOS Open Line with former MPP Bill Murdoch on Monday morning.

Miller's comments stemmed from a discussion about Prime Minister Harper's assertion last month that it's offensive for someone to wear a face-covering niqab while taking the oath of Canadian citizenship. 

In talking to a caller on the radio talk show, he said "people who come to Canada and don't want to show their face at immigration or citizenship ceremonies should stay the hell where you came from."

That is the quote he is referring to and the quote that has grabbed national headlines this morning.

First it was social media that exploded and now it's National media who have taken over coverage of the story.

Miller added on Monday's Open Line "he's sick and tired of people wanting to come because they know it's a good country and then wanting to change things before they officially become a Canadian."

The Prime Minister's Office has released a statement saying "the member in question made inappropriate comments that went beyond our clear position, and he has apologized for that. We believe most Canadians, including new Canadians, would find it offensive that someone would cover their face at the very moment they want to join the Canadian family."

Federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau also tweeted about the story on Tuesday saying -- Miller's disgraceful comments yesterday are just another example of Prime Minister Harper's politics of fear and division.

Miller's comments also led to a scare for Miller's staff at his Owen Sound office.

Police were called after a man -- who was described as being "irate" -- walked into the office and wanted to speak to Miller.

His staff told Police that the man had a Palestinian flag, was dressed in camouflage and said he was a practising Muslim who was upset about what Miller said on the CFOS Open Line on Monday.

The man left since Miller was not in the office -- but Owen Sound Police later talked to the 44 year old man , who admitted to being angry and emotional.

But Police say he apologized for causing such alarm.

No threats were made and Police say no charges will be laid.

Miller tells Bayshore Broadcasting News he called Police because his staff should not be scared and he will not stand for that.





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