The federal election campaign hadn’t even been called yet when controversial social media posts claimed another casualty on Wednesday.
The ousting of NDP candidate Dock Currie in B.C. came not long after a Liberal candidate in a Montreal riding was also ousted over old social media posts.
Currie, who was running in the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo riding, took to Facebook on Wednesday morning to say the party had asked for him to withdraw his candidacy.
“I am not stepping down for personal reasons. Rather, I have been asked to step down as a result of problematic social media engagement two years ago, made in a context in which I was a graduate student without any designs on public life,” Currie wrote.
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“The comments I made then were flippant and aggressive, and do not reflect who I am today, nor do I stand by them in the form in which they were made, and I understand completely that they would be an unnecessary and unwarranted distraction from the vital message and campaign of the NDP across the country.”
Currie said the comments were made to two pro-pipeline activists but did not elaborate on their content.
Federal NDP B.C. director Glen Sanford said he couldn’t speak to the content of the posts, but said they were problematic and went beyond what was acceptable in a candidate, but said Currie remained “totally behind” Jagmeet Singh.
He said the several people were currently weighing their options about stepping up for the seat.
But while the former candidate said he was sorry for the comments and agreed they would have been a distraction from the campaign, he also took a swipe at the party’s process for removing him.
“The run-up to this campaign has been marked by questions around the nature, purpose and procedures of candidate vetting, in all parties, and how social media plays a role in who can, and cannot, take part in political life,” Currie wrote.
“If all those who advance the interests of the wealthy and powerful need do to stymie and sabotage a campaign or candidate is to unearth an uncouth statement, or make a political party answer for any out-of-context social media engagement, then that is exactly what they will do and become better at doing.”
Currie was named the NDP’s candidate for the riding one week ago.
The Conservatives are running incumbent candidate Cathy McLeod again in the riding, while former B.C. health minister Terry Lake is carrying the flag for the Liberal Party of Canada.
The Green Party is running lawyer Iain Currie, the People’s Party of Canada is running rancher Ken Finlayson, the Communist Party is running Peter Kerek and the Animal Protection Party is running Kira Cheesborough.
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