Alan Ho was elected last year as one of four regional councillors representing Markham on York Regional Council.
Personally, I think he is a disgrace.
He is ignorant and talks drivel. He has no self-awareness and, regardless of the subject under consideration, spouts incoherent babble.
Yesterday he offered his scattered thoughts to the Region’s Committee of the Whole on an important report on York Region’s Ongoing Progress on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.
I could sense the embarrassment felt by other elected members.
But John Taylor stepped up to the plate and spoke for the overwhelming majority, slapping down Ho's ignorant comments.
"The position that you represented is in an extreme minority."
Click "Read More" below to read the exchange.
York Region's Committee of the Whole: 14 September 2023
Regional Councillor Alan Ho (Markham): Thank you Mr. Chair. It is about, you know, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Since, you know, we need to read, you know, the land announcement I've heard a lot of comments, you know, from our community saying that, well first of all, they don't disagree with, you know, the motive of this symbolic gesture.
However, by doing so it also, you know, will create some sort of, you know, another impact like, you know, spreading stuff onto a wound. Because, you know, just imagine if, you know, someone sitting, you know, in this chamber – well, next to you - who has been, you know, a robber, you know. Broken into, you know, another person’s house. And after so many years later… well they, all you know, all sit in the same room… but, you know, this robber, you know, confessed that:
Sorry I have broken into your house and stolen, you know, your wedding ring or a lot of, you know, jewellery but, well, I feel sorry for that.
Well next time we’ll ask instead:
OK since, you know, that day, my family, you know, has broken. And my kids, you know, become, you know, mentally ill and also, you know, you know, injured, you know, in an accident. What can you do for me instead of, you know, saying this kind of thing, you know, from time to time reminding me, you know, this kind of, you know, disaster taking place many years ago?
Now, you know, my family, you know, is not what it was or what it should be. So this is, you know, the comment, you know, made by, you know, people, you know, in my community. Thank you. I just want to share with everybody.
Regional Chair Wayne Emmerson: Councillor Ho this was talking about York Region’s ongoing programs on Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action and I’m not sure what you're asking us to do or speak to. This is about Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action. OK.
Regional Councillor Alan Ho: I'm talking about, you know, that land acknowledgement. The reading of land acknowledgement and we all wonder, you know, what is the use of that kind of, you know, land acknowledgement?
Mayor John Taylor (Newmarket): Sorry…you know… I think somebody has to comment. Regional Councillor Ho, I would significantly and dramatically disagree with you. And I think to make a comparison between somebody having their house broken into – which can be traumatic, I am not dismissing that – and an entire culture having their language wiped out, having their children taken away and put in residential schools, full of abuse. A history of dispossession of land, of systemic oppression and racism and comparing that to somebody having their home broken into is just, in my opinion, not only not a fair comparison but unacceptable.
I think this report is excellent. I think we know… and I will say this. I've spent five years living in an indigenous community. And I taught high school children in an indigenous community. And I can tell you that it's not an idea that (it’s) something that happened sometime ago - and remember some of the residential schools closed in the 70s - but “something that happened a long time ago”. Quote unquote.
I can tell you I saw in my students the intergenerational trauma of parents and grandparents who were abused, who were not allowed to speak their language, who were taken from their land. It is real and impacts in a way that is massive and that this country is starting to address through truth and reconciliation.
And through this report and land acknowledgements we can start in a tiny way to improve relations and make amends for colossal historic wrongs. (And this) is exactly what we should be doing. And I hope that… you know… people watching this… people hearing this understand that I think that the position that you represented is in an extreme minority. (applause).
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