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© 2019 New Democratic Party of Newfoundland and Labrador.

NDP Caucus condemns comments, says MHA and government must work with communities to restore trust


For immediate release

September 13, 2019


NDP Caucus condemns comments, says MHA and government must work with communities to restore trust


The NDP Caucus is reacting to recorded comments by Liberal MHA Perry Trimper that the Innu Nation has deemed racist. Trimper is MHA for Lake Melville and today resigned as the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Environment.


Leader Alison Coffin says the discriminatory remarks between Trimper and an unidentified person that were inadvertently recorded on a voicemail message to the Innu Nation were completely unacceptable.


“These comments were hurtful and damaging to the government and MHA Trimper’s working relationship with the Innu nation and other Indigenous leaders and communities. He is in a position of authority and leadership and we expect better,” Coffin said.


Coffin says the NDP has always been a strong advocate for Indigenous rights, respect, and reconciliation. She says it is unacceptable that prejudiced attitudes are still pervasive and we must work together to eradicate racism.


MHA for Labrador West, Jordan Brown, calls the comments “heartbreaking.”


“It is very disappointing to hear Mr. Trimper and the unknown individual in the recording say such negative and hurtful things about their fellow Labradorians. As a father to two Inuit girls and a spouse to an Inuit woman, these unkind words hit too close to home. There is no place for this in Labrador or the province as a whole. This attitude shows gaps in the government’s attitude towards Labrador and all its peoples.”


Jim Dinn, MHA for St. John’s Centre, says while MHA Trimper has stepped down from his cabinet position, it’s now imperative for Trimper and the Premier – who is the Minister for Indigenous Affairs – to go meet with the Innu Nation and other Indigenous leaders to apologize in person and determine how to go forward and repair this relationship.


“MHA Trimper and the Premier need to meet with Indigenous leaders and communities and do whatever it takes to restore trust and heal from this damaging incident,” said Dinn.


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For further information, contact Zaren Healey White, Director of Communications, NDP Caucus at 729-2137 (office), 693-9172 (cell), or zarenhealeywhite@gov.nl.ca.