Raitt offers tearful regrets

Lisa Raitt finally said sorry Wednesday for her controversial comments, but the tearful regrets did little to silence critics who accused her of presiding over an escalating crisis affecting thousands of cancer patients.

Minister of Natural Resources Lisa Raitt pauses as she reads a statement during a brief availability on Parliament Hill in Ottawa Wednesday.

OTTAWA — Lisa Raitt finally said sorry Wednesday for her controversial comments, but the tearful regrets did little to silence critics who accused her of presiding over an escalating crisis affecting thousands of cancer patients.

Raitt offered a belated and emotional apology for describing the shortage of isotopes used in cancer tests as a “sexy” issue from which she could benefit politically.

“Today, I want to personally convey my deep regret for wording I used in a private discussion earlier this year which was inadvertently recorded,” she told a hastily arranged news conference.

She had refused to apologize a day earlier despite heavy criticism from the opposition and the public. Outraged cancer survivors and their supporters demanded Raitt resign or at least apologize for remarks they considered to be insensitive and calculating.

Raitt choked up as she described watching her father die of colon cancer when she was a child, and then losing her brother to lung cancer as an adult.

“As somebody who has been, in their personal life, deeply affected by cancer, my intent was certainly not to show any disrespect for cancer victims, survivors or their families,” she said.

“I want to offer a clear apology to anyone has been offended by what I said.”

She later made calls to three organizations, including the Canadian Cancer Society, to personally apologize.

In the House of Commons, Raitt launched an attack on the Liberals, accusing the former government of knowing in 2003 that a project to replace the aging Chalk River, Ont. nuclear reactor — which produces one-third of the world’s isotopes — was doomed to failure. She said the Liberals were either “ignorant to the situation, or not caring themselves.”

That prompted an explosion from Liberal Ralph Goodale, natural resources minister at the time.

“All of the crises have happened on their watch, not on our watch,” he shouted. “It’s time to get serious.”

Just Posted

Number of seniors who play bridge in Red Deer growing

Red Deer Bridge Club has been around for close to 60 years

PHOTOS: Buccaneers battle Wolfpack in AFL semifinal

The Central Alberta Buccaneers battled the Calgary Wolfpack in the Alberta Football… Continue reading

Raising awareness for Bikers Against Child Abuse

Second annual Raise A Ruckus Against Child Abuse was held at the Red Deer Radisson Hotel Saturday

Central Alberta Yogathon cancelled Saturday

Due to air quality concerns the fourth annual event will take place Sept. 15

City Hall Park construction begins next week

Construction to update Red Deer’s City Hall Park is set to begin… Continue reading

WATCH: Medicine River Wildlife Centre opens new playground

The grand opening of the playground was Saturday morning

Canadians fear for relatives trapped amid flooding in Indian state of Kerala

In the wake of deadly flooding in the Indian state of Kerala,… Continue reading

Indonesia’s Lombok island jolted by multiple quakes

SEMBALUN, Indonesia — Strong earthquakes jolted the Indonesian tourist island of Lombok… Continue reading

Afghan president calls for Eid cease-fire, Taliban to reply

KABUL — Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has called for a conditional cease-fire… Continue reading

Montreal may have less influence after October provincial election

MONTREAL — When Coalition Avenir Quebec Leader Francois Legault recently dismissed the… Continue reading

Privacy issue with online pot sales after legalization needs watching: experts

TORONTO — Buyers who have to provide personal information to purchase recreational… Continue reading

Range of reactions to possible holiday to mark legacy of residential schools

The federal government’s intention to enact a statutory holiday aimed at remembering… Continue reading

Wildfire smoke from B.C. gets in the way of mountain scenery for tourists

JASPER, Alta. — Smoke from wildfires that’s blanketing parts of Alberta does… Continue reading

Fast food chains look to capitalize on vegetarian, vegan trend with new items

The once meat-dominated world of fast-food and casual restaurants is starting to… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month