Liberal leadership hopeful Ellis Ross urges calm in wake of church fires

Ellis Ross condemns fires

Ellis Ross is asking for calm from within, and outside First Nation communities after two Catholic churches on Indigenous lands in the South Okanagan were destroyed by fire overnight.

"Right now, I urge all to stay safe, and please be calm. Together, we will get through this, Ross said in a lengthy statement Monday evening.

Ross, a former Chief counsellor for the Haisla Nation in Northwest B.C., is now a BC Liberal MLA for Skeena.

He is also running for the leadership of the party.

He condemned the fires, calling them a senseless act against Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

"Now more than ever, we must remember that we are all British Columbians, and we are all Canadians," he said.

"This is not the time for more of the old-fashioned politics that pits British Columbians against each other. This divisive approach to politics has held our province back for far too long. We need change. Change that can bring us together.

"For too many years, “reconciliation” and “change” have been passed back and forth like a political football without any meaningful action. It’s time for leadership, not politics.

"In the aftermath of the horrible discovery at Kamloops, my heart has been filled with hope watching indigenous and non-indigenous Canadians come together to mourn the victims of residential schools. I am in awe of how far we’ve come."

You can read Ross' complete statement on Facebook.

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