Lac La Biche County is investigating potentially racist comments posted by someone affiliated with the municipality on social media.
In a Facebook post on Friday afternoon, Lac La Biche County expressed that they are not taking the situation lightly and will do a thorough investigation.
“The County will not tolerate disrespectful, harassing, racist, or other inappropriate behaviour by its employees or its volunteers. The County takes this situation seriously, is investigating, and will take all necessary steps to preserve and reflect the values of the County.”
The comments in question are believed to be from this exchange on a private crime watch page on social media.
Jihad Moghrabi, Communications Manager for Lac La Biche County, says there could be repercussions for the individual, and if the County sees fit, they could lose their job.
“It depends on the results of the investigation, but yes, ultimately what can happen is they could be terminated. We don’t know that at this point. We are still in the middle of the investigation,” said Moghrabi.
Lac La Biche Mayor, Omer Moghrabi, also made his own post about the investigation, and how the comments in question do not reflect the community as a whole.
“This is just not who we are. We are a welcoming community, we are very diversified, and we are one of the oldest,” said Moghrabi.
“I don’t know what to say, I’m embarrassed, and it’s horrible to be honest. A lot of our people are tired of rural crime but this is well beyond that.”
Mayor Moghrabi is also making sure the County is taking all the necessary steps moving forward, and they will be involving the RCMP in the investigation.
“We will be referring some of it to the RCMP because it seems to me there is some racism and hatred. So we are going to do our due diligence, we are going to follow up any way we can, and we will go along with the RCMP if it’s a hate crime.”
Fort McMurray-Cold Lake MP David Yurdiga issued a statement on Saturday.
“Racism of all types has no place in Fort McMurray-Cold Lake or anywhere in Canada,” he said.
“I commend Mayor Omer Moghrabi and indigneous community leaders for remaining steadfast in condemning these violent and racist comments made towards members of our community.”