Labrador Liberal member resisting calls from Innu Nation leaders to resign

A Newfoundland and Labrador legislature member is rejecting calls from the Innu Nation to resign following comments he made about homeless people.

Liberal Perry Trimper said in an interview Tuesday he will continue to represent Labrador’s Lake Melville district, which includes the town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, until the next election.

Read more: Video depicting violent arrest of N.L. Indigenous man prompts call for investigation

Innu leaders said Monday in a statement they can no longer support him after he made comments during a CBC interview suggesting homeless people in Happy Valley-Goose Bay choose their lifestyles.

Trimper was speaking in reference to a video shared on social media showing a handcuffed and homeless Inuk man being thrown to the ground by a Happy Valley-Goose Bay enforcement officer.

Read more: Churchill Falls dam: Labrador Innu seek restitution for flooding of ancestral land

His comments sparked outrage and he announced on Monday he would not be seeking re-election and was resigning from his roles as parliamentary secretary in education and finance and as the premier’s special advisor on climate change.

Innu leaders say they want Premier Andrew Furey to remove Trimper from caucus and Trimper to resign.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 27, 2020.

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