Burlington Council Candidate Accused of Making Racially Insensitive Remarks

A Burlington council candidate is under fire afer making racially insensitive remarks.

The remarks, which were made on Facebook, were made about two years ago.

And now, some Burlington residents are arguing that the candidate isn’t a good fit for council.

Earlier this month, InHalton received the following message regarding the candidate Wendy Moraghan, who is running in ward 5.

"Former Halton police officer and current candidate for Council Ward 5 in Burlington has been outed by residents and members of a 2000+ member strong community Facebook group called Our Orchard Community."

"She has stated on several occasions that she is the most qualified due to her 31-year residence in Burlington. This has offended many who have questioned her intolerance to new members of the community and candidates who have lived in the ward for less time than she has."

The reader then referred to posts Moraghan made following an animal cruelty incident that appeared to involve a veterinarian of colour.

"It was noted that her position is intolerant and numerous community members have agreed. This morning a post of hers on Facebook that is two years old was uploaded [to the Facebook group] for residents to see in which she blatantly referred to a person of colour, 'agree what a lowlife piece of shit ….send him back to where he came from if that’s how he thinks we treat animals in North America.'

The comment can be found in the screenshot below:

Some residents also expressed concern about Moraghan’s familiarity with the ward.

Moraghan responded with the following:

And while some concerned residents have acknowledged that Moraghan apologized for her remarks, they say the fact that she made them at all is problematic.

"Ward 5 has five candidates, two of whom are visible minorities and this comment has deeply offended one of them. Moraghan’s response to this post is that occurred two years ago and was posted as a knee-jerk reaction; therefore, the commentary should be considered moot. There is no room for discrimination in Canada and certainly not in Canadian politics at any level. The comment was made when Moraghan was a Halton Regional Police officer and surely that department would denounce those actions of one of their own whose sole role is to protect the public.

After InHalton reached out via email, Moraghan acknowledged and apologized for her past remarks, saying that she spoke out in anger after seeing the viral video of Dr. Mahavir Rekhi cruelly handling a dog under his care.

While criminal charges against Rekhi were ultimately dropped, he was suspended by the College of Veterinarians of Ontario and fined $10,000.

"The words I chose to express my anger at this event when I learned of it were poor and did not reflect my position or beliefs. What I intended to convey was that this crime was a violation of our community as a safe and caring place that we can all be proud to call home, and should never be tolerated. I have learned a great deal from this experience and the importance of proper word choice in promoting understanding. I sincerely apologize to those I have offended," Moraghan said in an email to InHalton.

Photos in this article are courtesy of Dorothy Reinhardt.

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