Joachim Stroink is in hot water after he posted a picture of himself and his wife posing next to "Sinterklass" and "Zwarte Piet" -- or Black Pete -- at a Dutch Christmas event in Halifax on Sunday.
"Zwarte Piet" is a Blackface character who, in Dutch culture, is Santa Claus' servant or helper. But in recent years, people have changed the references to Black Pete, saying that his darkness comes from him rubbing against soot as he climbs down chimneys to give children gifts, The Canadian Press reported.
At a news conference on Monday, the Nova Scotia Liberal MLA got emotional as he discussed the photo, which he posted onto Twitter.
"I do acknowledge that that whole blackface culture, there is no place for that in Nova Scotia, nor in our (Dutch) culture as well,'' Stroink told The Huffington Post.
"There was no malicious intent whatsoever. This is a Dutch tradition that I grew up with and never ever in my deepest heart, ever thought that this would be portrayed in this manner."
After much outrage, Stroink deleted the photo on Sunday.