Mayor Accused Of Making Inflammatory Remark

Monday, October 23, 2006 at 14:16



The mayor of Saskatoon denies ever saying the city’s former police chief was fired for being “too Aboriginal-friendly”.


According to published reports, that’s an allegation one of Don Atchison’s rivals is making following a candidate’s forum last week.


Challenger Ron Kocsis, who happens to be of First Nations ancestry, says Atchison made the remark this past Thursday at a debate on the First Nations University of Canada’s Saskatoon campus.


Kocsis alleges the remark was made while Atchison was being peppered with questions by audience members about Russ Sabo’s dismissal.


Sabo has been praised for his work with Saskatoon’s Aboriginal community, but it wasn’t enough for him to keep his job.


Atchison says his explanation at the debate was the same he has given all along — that the board of police commissioners felt there were some things that could be improved with someone else heading up the police service.


At least one observer says Atchison’s remarks weren’t as inflammatory as some suggest — but admits the incumbent could have chosen his words more carefully.


(with files from the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix)