Stephen Lecce, one of Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford’s highest profile candidates, is apologizing after a report emerged about him participating in a fraternity house “slave auction” when he was in university.
Lecce, who served as education minister in the most recent provincial parliament, issued a two-line apology Tuesday night after a report was published by left-leaning website, Press Progress, about a 2006 Sigma Chi event at Western University, which was called a “slave auction.”
In his apology, Lecce, who was a member of the fraternity’s chapter at the time, did not deny his involvement in the event.
“The event from 2006 was inappropriate and in no way reflects who I am as a person, which is why I unreservedly apologize,” Lecce said.
“I will continue to passionately advance the interests of all Ontarians — irrespective of faith, heritage, orientation or race.”
Lecce’s apology comes as he seeks re-election in King-Vaughan in Ontario’s provincial election.
Several Ontario NDP candidates in Toronto are calling on Lecce to withdraw from running for office, calling his actions “repulsive” and “clear anti-Black racism.”
“Under no circumstances should the people of this province, or even more alarmingly our children, be represented by him at this time,” Toronto-St. Paul’s candidate Dr. Jill Andrew said in a joint statement with NDP candidates Faisal Hassan and Dr. Laura Mae Lindo.
“Doug Ford and the PC party must remove him. We are also calling on Doug Ford, as the Leader of the PC party, to clearly and unequivocally condemn Mr. Lecce’s actions
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