Iqaluit councillor apologizes for remarks about Black taxi drivers
Coun. Nattaq apologized during a city council meeting Tuesday
Iqaluit Coun. Simon Nattaq apologized Tuesday for remarks he made about Black taxi drivers talking on their cellphones during a February council session.
“Regarding the observations of certain taxi drivers, I apologize for that comment,” Nattaq said. He spoke in Inuktitut and his comments were translated by an on-site interpreter at the meeting.
Mayor Kenny Bell said council appreciated the apology.
“We know that it was just a misspeak and wasn’t intended in any malicious way,” he said.
On Feb. 23, during a discussion on road safety, Nattaq singled out Black taxi drivers for “constantly” talking on their cell phones “in their language,” adding that he had “nothing against them but there’s been a lot of complaints from local people.”
He made the comments in Inuktitut and they were translated through an on-site interpreter.
Council voted unanimously to enter a private session to review the remarks. When they returned to their public session, Nattaq did not immediately apologize for what he said, and Bell said the comments would be dealt with at a later time.