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Former BC NDP premier says ethnic outreach scandal is overblown

Former New Democrat premier Ujjal Dosanjh says the ethnic vote-winning debate that has hammered the BC Liberals and forced them to issue numerous apologies is nauseating, sanctimonious and holier-than-thou.

Dosanjh, who was also a former federal Liberal cabinet minister, says the only real problem with the leaked BC Liberal ethnic strategy is its calls to co-ordinate operations between taxpayer funded government workers and B.C. Liberal Party operatives when it comes to courting ethnic voters.

Otherwise, Dosanjh says the scandal that has forced Clark's former deputy chief of staff and her multiculturalism minister to resign and prompted an internal review is much ado about nothing.

Dosanjh says all political parties -- the Liberals, New Democrats and federal Conservatives -- engage in what he calls pandering for votes, and this pandering heats up as elections near.

In 1999, Dosanjh, known for his strong views in B.C.'s politically active Sikh community, became Canada's first Indo-Canadian politician to lead a political party when he succeeded former NDP premier Glen Clark.

Dosanjh says he completely opposes political parties issuing apologies to multicultural groups for historical injustices, calling them phoney.

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