Mr. Heath regrets of his speech that is protested by Turkish Community

Deputy Mayor of Markham Mr. Jack Heath told that he received a book from Turkey's Ambassador to Canada and he stated that he threw this book into recycle stating that he wouldn't be interested in reading fiction books.

TORONTO (Bizim Anadolu) - M. Jack Heath, Markham Deputy Mayor, has recently been subject to intense criticizing by Turkish Canadians due to his comments broadcasted on a TV program named Nor Hai Horizon on Apr 26, 2008.

During his speech Mr. Heath made certain statements that were insulting to Turkey's Ambassador to Canada, Turkish Community and their ancestors. Upon the outrage these comments created hundreds of protest letters were sent to Mr. Heath causing him to eventually apologize within a week time following the incident.

Several other politicians were also reported to be present in the same event where the comments they made were so far reaching as to get involved with Turkey's internal affairs and criticizing Turkish Government for denial of so-called "Armenian Genocide".

Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister Jason Kenney, Leader of Progressive - Conservative Party of Ontario John Torry, Liberal MP for Scarborough-Agincourt Jim Karygiannis, Minister of Labor, Ontario Brad Duguid, Markham Deputy Mayor Jack Heath, MPP, Beaches-East York Michael Prue, Toronto City Councilor for Ward 33 - Don Valley East Shelley Carroll also participated to the meeting and gave speech.

Deputy Mayor of Markham Mr. Jack Heath's attitude and the words he used were the main sources of discontent and outrage among the Turkish Canadians so much so to cause hundreds of protest letters to be sent to him asking for an apology. In his speech Mr. Heath mentioned about his promise to get so-called Armenian "genocide" to be recognized in Markham City and confirmed that he kept his promise making it legislation in October 2007. Furthermore Mr. Heath confirmed that after a week's time following the legislation he received a letter from Turkey's Ambassador to Canada including a book with information relating to that part of the history. To the surprise of many Turkish Canadians Mr. Heath stated that he threw this book into recycle stating that he wouldn't be interested in reading fiction books.

Reports from the public indicated the discontent of Turkish Canadians were mainly focusing on the fact that an elected official with a mandate to serve his community was specifically discriminating one community to look nice to another one was using a public TV for this purpose.

It has been reported that Mr. Heath later sent apology letters and called certain individuals from Turkish community. In his letter Mr. Heath showed a level of remorse and acknowledged that he should have worded his speech more appropriately. Furthermore he also stated he should not have mentioned that he threw the book from Turkish Ambassador. Finally Mr. Heath confirmed that he was able to locate the book and he wouldn't throw it into garbage.

On the flip side of the coin Markham town councilor John Webster, in his letter to some Turkish Canadians, confirmed his disturbance on the matter and stated that elected officials should not have got involved in such actions using the name of the town of Markham adding that these people do really not reflect the view of Markham's public.

Similarly Gordon Landon, Regional Councilor of Markham, reaffirmed that Jack Heath has made this speech only on his own and asked to have his name be removed from the protest letters. Furthermore Mr. Landon did ask for another copy of the book stating him being an open minded person and would like to read more about the Turkish side of the story. A book has now been sent to his name.

May 2008