Protesters demand Perry Trimper's resignation as MHA

Jacob Barker/CBC

Demonstrators who called for Perry Trimper's resignation as MHA at a protest in Happy Valley-Goose Bay Monday said they feel hurt and betrayed by comments they said are racist.

A small group formed in the parking lot of Trimper's constituency office on Monday afternoon, and a sign calling for his resignation was posted to its door.

Trimper resigned from cabinet while under heavy fire from Indigenous groups, over a voicemail he had left for an Innu Nation staffer. 

"Perry Trimper has proven his true colours," said Kirk Lethbridge, who put out the call to gather outside the office in protest.

Jeannie Nuna said the comments were particularly hurtful as she and her husband had felt that they had a friendly, personal relationship with Trimper, and had campaigned for him.

"I feel very betrayed and hurt," Nuna said.

Trimper's resignation came just a day after an inadvertent recording of a conversation between him and an unidentified woman was released by the Innu Nation.

Jacob Barker/CBC

In the recording, Trimper chided the Innu Nation for playing what he called "the race card."

The identity of the woman in the phone call should also be released, Lethbridge said. 

Trimper apologized Thursday for the comments, which were recorded Wednesday evening after a conversation with Innu Nation executive assistant Dominic Rich.

Jacob Barker/CBC

He announced his resignation as the province's municipal affairs and environment minister on Friday morning.

Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation Chief Eugene Hart came to show his support for the demonstration, saying that it's hard to see how constituents can continue to work with Trimper as MHA, even if they were not the target of the recorded comments.

"It strikes everybody," Hart said. "It doesn't just strike one culture."

Jacob Barker/CBC

Shannon Tobin, a Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation employee who ran against Trimper as the PC candidate in the last provincial election, said it was up to the Innu Nation to decide what the next steps should be.

"Right now they have a lot of questions and they have a lot of concerns, so I wanted to be here in support, just like another person in this community," Tobin said.

Just down the road from the protest, Premier Dwight Ball arrived early Monday afternoon to meet with Innu Nation representatives in the wake of Trimper's resignation from cabinet, which came just one week after he had been appointed to the role.

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