Friday September 7, 2018
Cindy Ross says she is sorry for social media post where she compares Fort McMurray's Islamic community to bank robbers. (Facebook/ Cindy Ross Page)
NDP describe Cindy Ross' 2015 comments as 'racist views'
A Calgary United Conservative Party nomination candidate has apologized for almost three-year-old social media comments in which she compared Muslims in Fort McMurray to bank robbers.
Cindy Ross, who is seeking the UCP nomination in Calgary-Fish Creek, apologized for now-deleted Facebook posts she made in November 2015 about the construction of an Islamic centre in Fort McMurray.
Disqualified UCP candidate stands behind calling Islam an 'evil cult'
"What a better place to have a mosque. Right in the middle of our greatest asset," Ross said in 2015. "This is a bit of like jailing the bank robber in the bank vault."
Ross also said she had no recollection of writing the controversial post where she said she hated the idea of building an Islamic centre in Fort McMurray.
Ross's retraction came on the eve of voting day and hours after the NDP issued a news release Thursday which described her comments as "racist views" on an "extremist Facebook page."
Ross's post and account have been deleted.
"I apologize for any offence my old posts have caused," Ross said in a Facebook post on her official candidate page Thursday afternoon. "They certainly do not represent my views today."
UCP: 'People can evolve'
A statement from the UCP's executive director, Janice Harrington, said views party members may have held in the past doesn't necessarily mean they still hold those views today.
"We also recognize that people are allowed to grow and change their views over time," Harrington said. "Indeed, accepting that people can evolve is necessary for a tolerant province."
Irfan Sabir, a Calgary NDP MLA, condemned the candidate's post and called on the UCP leader Jason Kenney to answer why Ross is allowed to run in Friday's nomination vote.
"The hateful views expressed by Ms. Ross are an insult to Alberta Muslims," Sabir said in a statement to CBC. "And to anyone who knows that our province is made so much stronger by its diversity."