Yellowknife city councillor Niels Konge has issued an apology for comparing a proof-of-vaccination requirement at municipal facilities to racial segregation.
During a discussion on Monday, Konge said he opposed implementing such a policy in the city on the grounds of fairness. He compared vaccination requirements to some people not being allowed to sit at the front of buses, referencing the segregation of Black people through discriminatory laws in North America.
Mayor Rebecca Alty and the NWT’s Black Advocacy Coalition subsequently issued statements condemning the remarks. The coalition called on Konge to apologize to the Black community and educate himself about the issues racialized communities face.
By text, Konge issued a statement to Cabin Radio on Tuesday night apologizing for the comparison.
“It was not an appropriate comparison to make. I’m deeply sorry to the people that my words hurt and harmed,” he wrote.
“Moving forward, I commit to continuing to learn, improve, and be respectful in our discussions.”
Konge said he also plans to issue a public apology at the next city council meeting.