March 1st, 2024

B.C. minister to get anti-Islamophobia training after rising calls for resignation

By The Canadian Press on February 5, 2024.

Selina Robinson, Minister of Post-Secondary Education and Future, speaks at an announcement in Vancouver, on Thursday, July 20, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ethan Cairns

VICTORIA – British Columbia’s post-secondary education minister says she will undergo anti-Islamophobia training as calls for her resignation grow.

Selina Robinson says in a statement today that she is committed to making amends for her remarks during an online panel last week, when she said Israel was founded on a “crappy piece of land,” angering pro-Palestinian groups.

Meanwhile, groups are planning to protest outside the provincial NDP caucus retreat in the Metro Vancouver city of Surrey, with organizers saying they will deliver the signatures of more than 11,000 people asking for Robinson’s resignation.

Over the weekend, a collection of British Columbia mosques and Islamic associations sent a letter to Premier David Eby calling for Robinson to be removed from her role.

The groups also said they will not welcome any NDP legislature member or candidate for the next election to their sacred spaces until Eby takes action against Robinson.

In her second apology for her remarks, Robinson says her comments have “broken the trust of many” and that she will have earn it back.

“I am very sorry. I bear full responsibility,” said Robinson. “My words were inappropriate, wrong, and I now understand how they have contributed to Islamophobia and anti-Palestinian racism.”

In previous remarks on Thursday, Robinson apologized for being disrespectful and said she was referring to the land on which Israel was founded having limited natural resources.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 5, 2024.

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