February 23rd, 2024

B.C.’s premier says Selina Robinson offered to quit twice over Middle East comment

By The Canadian Press on February 7, 2024.

Selina Robinson speaks during a press conference in Vancouver on Thursday, July 20, 2023. British Columbia Premier David Eby says the former post-secondary education minister offered her resignation twice over comments she made about the Middle East. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ethan Cairns

VANCOUVER – B.C. Premier David Eby says his former post-secondary education minister offered her resignation twice before her exit from cabinet over comments she made about the Middle East.

Selina Robinson, who’s Jewish, stepped down on Monday after days of pressure over her comments that modern Israel was founded on a “crappy piece of land,” which critics called racist and Islamophobic.

Eby said at the time that it was a joint decision.

Asked if the final decision was his, Eby told an unrelated news conference on Wednesday that Robinson offered to quit twice and he accepted on Monday.

Eby says the weekend leading up to the resignation was “really difficult” for a lot of people in B.C. and he acknowledges the “important role” Robinson played in cabinet for the Jewish community.

Some in the Jewish community have accused Eby of double standards, saying they’re offended by what happened to Robinson after she apologized and was willing to make amends.

“She’s going to go and do her work,” Eby said of Robinson, who remains in the NDP caucus.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb, 7, 2024.

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