WINNIPEG — Mayoral candidate Gord Steeves faced the music on Tuesday — four days after an old Facebook post his wife had made about “drunken native guys” in the city’s downtown surfaced.
Steeves began the news conference by making a drawn-out policy announcement, until a reporter cut in to state that’s not why the media had gathered.
The former city councillor, while being heckled by some members of the public, began by addressing the remarks, reiterating that Lorrie Steeves has issued an apology.
“My wife made the comments she made,” he said, saying it was a difficult weekend for his family. “I’m a candidate in the mayoralty election, but I’m also a husband and a father.”
Steeves began by saying his wife was approached in a skywalk downtown by an inebriated large man in a threatening way in 2010. While with two of their children, his wife told their then eight-year-old son to get security if he grabbed her. Nothing happened, Steeves said, but another incident followed in the coming weeks.
While downtown again, Lorrie Steeves was approached by three intoxicated aboriginal panhandlers asking for money. When she refused, one of them pointed his finger in her face and asked why she didn’t like aboriginals.
Steeves said the controversial Facebook remarks were made when his wife was angry after the second incident.
Asked why it took him so long to publicly address the controversy, Steeves said the comments came to light late Friday and it was best to wait until after the weekend to address them.
“I love her and I stand with her,” he said of Lorrie, noting she won’t be making an appearance during the campaign to answer any questions herself.
He remains a candidate in the race for mayor when Winnipeggers go to the polls on October 22.