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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

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Vancouver city councilor apologizes for using Jewish slur

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Rod Clark

VANCOUVER —  A city councilor in North Vancouver apologized for saying at a meeting that the city was being "Jewed down."

Rod Clark apologized Tuesday on CTV after using the slur a night earlier during a council debate on tax revenue.

"Unfortunately it was a very big mistake, I can't take it back, so I'm offering my sincerest and deep, heartfelt apologies to any and all who were offended," he told the network.

During the debate, Clark said he believed North Vancouver was owed by Port Metro Vancouver due to years of underpaying.

"They're fighting us tooth and nail and we're getting Jewed down completely on the taxes that are owed," Clark said, according to CTV News.

After being confronted at the meeting, Clark defended his use of the slur, calling it a "commonly used term" with no "religious overtone."

Darren Mackoff, the regional director for The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, in a statement before the apology criticized Clark's remarks, saying they "demonstrate a cultural ignorance and an extreme lack of sensitivity."

"The use of this age-old anti-Semitic rhetoric is hurtful and inappropriate," Mackoff said.

North Vancouver Mayor Darrel Mussatto said Clark's remarks were shocking, but it was unlikely the councilor would face any formal discipline.

Last month, Oklahoma lawmaker Dennis Johnson was caught on video using the phrase "Jew me down on a price." Johnson later apologized.

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