Canadians have a well-earned reputation for being overly nice people. American TV shows are filed with stereotypical Canadians tripping over themselves to say “thank you” and apologize for anything that might be interpreted as a slight.
There’s even a saying about it, something about God giving Canadians warm hearts to compensate for giving them cold weather. A British Columbian woman, however, is doing her best to destroy that reputation for the entire country.
Kelly Pocha was caught on video verbally assaulting a table of Muslim immigrants at a Denny’s in Lethbridge, Alberta, a small town about 90 miles north of Canada’s border with the U.S. state of Montana.
Monir Omerzai, one of the patrons, posted the video to his Facebook page earlier this week, and it immediately went viral.
“She started going off. She just started calling us names, that we’re from Syria, we’re from this country, we’re from that country,” Omerzai told Global News Canada. “As a human being, we should never be treated like that and I was never expecting that sort of experience from a grownup lady.”
As the video opens, Pocha tells the men at the table that they’re “dealing with a Canadian woman right now,” and then threatened to “leap across this table and punch you right in your fucking mouth.”
A few moments later, as the argument escalates, Pocha says, “Go back to your fucking country,” and “You’re not Canadian,” to which one of the men responds by insisting that, “We’re all Canadian.”
Before the video cuts off, Pocha, by now having to be restrained by a man at her table, can be heard telling the Muslim men, “Speak English if you’re going to speak. It’s Canada.”
The event transpired in mid-April, Omerzai said, and Pocha has been somewhat conciliatory since the video went public earlier this week.
“They did say a few things to me in English that weren’t very nice and then I got extremely heated and then that’s basically when they hit record,” she said, adding that she doesn’t “normally say things like that.”
“If I could rewind and take it back I would, but I can’t,” she said, although she insists she apologized to the restaurant staff.
Her employer, the Cranbrook Dodge dealership, got wind of the video as it went viral, and they were not impressed with her feeble attempt at a walk back. Late Wednesday, just over 24 hours after the video was first posted, they fired Pocha and issued a statement on their Facebook page explaining their decision:
“We have recently become aware of a disturbing video that involves one of our employees,” Cranbrook Dodge owner Dave Girling wrote. “We are deeply concerned about the content of this video and want all of our friends, families, colleagues, and customers to know that this behavior does not reflect the values of Cranbrook Dodge in any way. We strive to be a welcoming and inclusive company with no room for hate or intolerance.”
You can watch the entire disturbing video below.