John Tory and Paul Ferreira are exactly right: U of T Poli-Sci student and job applicant Evon Reid (aka ‘Ghetto Dude’) deserves to receive an unequivocal apology from Premier Dalton McGuinty himself, not an office manager or deputy minister:
Discounting the argument that the email was a mistake and not intended to be seen by Reid, Tory…dismissed [Cabinet office manager Craig] Sumi’s voicemail apology as inadequate.
“There is no place that this should be happening in the Ontario government, but that it comes from the premier’s office is beyond comprehension,” said Tory, noting the cabinet office reports directly to McGuinty’s office.
New Democratic MPP Paul Ferreira (York-South Weston) agreed the apology should come from the premier, and went a step further in urging “sensitivity training” for government employees.
Feel free to (politely) let Premier McGuinty know what you think.
Rm 281, Main Legislative Building
Toronto ON M7A 1A4
Update 07.23: McGuinty apologizes:
Premier Dalton McGuinty yesterday apologized to University of Toronto honours student Evon Reid for the email from his cabinet office that used the term “ghetto dude.”
Reid, 22, picked up the telephone in his Malvern-area home to hear a man’s voice asking for him. When he identified himself, the caller responded: “Dalton McGuinty here.”
The premier told him “he deserved an apology and there was no one better to deliver it than him,” according to Reid.
“He also said he heard good things about me from the cabinet office and that the cabinet office is taking the incident very seriously. Most impressive, though, he said he was proud of me for making it public.”
Reid characterized McGuinty’s call as “very thoughtful … I feel somewhat encouraged.”
He stopped short of saying he had accepted the apologies.
Not going to give any cookies to McGuinty for doing the right thing. The fact remains that a staff member in the cabinet office used a racial slur in official intra-office communication to describe a highly qualified job candidate. Her initial explanation for the incident (that she wasn’t referring to Reid; the implication that because she herself belongs to a visible minority means she can’t be racist) is utterly ridiculous and insulting in light of the evidence, as is the downplaying of her importance by Giles Gherson, deputy minister of communications, and civil servant Craig Sumi.
Hopefully the NDP and Conservatives don’t let this drop so easily.