Liberals keeping Cape Breton candidate despite past racist, sexist remarks on social media

Hard to defend keeping this candidate apart from the need to save a safe Liberal seat.

In contrast, the Conservative decision to dump their candidate in Burnaby North-Seymour was easier, as the Conservatives ran third, albeit with 28 percent of the vote in 2015:

Justin Trudeau says past racist and sexist social-media posts from a Liberal candidate in Cape Breton were “unacceptable,” but the party is not dropping Jaime Battiste from its election campaign roster.

Sunday marked the first time Mr. Trudeau has publicly commented on Mr. Battiste’s remarks since Friday, when the Toronto Sun revealed past Facebook and Twitter posts in which the Liberal candidate for Sydney-Victoria made offensive remarks about women, Indigenous girls, gay men and Chinese people with accents. Mr. Battiste has since apologized for the posts, which date back as far as 2011, saying he wrote the posts during “difficult times” in his life.

Speaking to reporters in Plainfield, Ont., Sunday, Mr. Trudeau was asked if he felt he was limited in the action he could take against other Liberal candidates because of past photos of him in blackface and brownface, but he didn’t answer the question directly.

“We recognize that Jaime Battiste … took responsibility for his actions and has apologized,” Mr. Trudeau said.

In response to an interview request for Mr. Battiste, the Liberal Party referred to his apology instead.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer had the day off on Sunday, but his party took to Twitter to ask if Mr. Trudeau needs to “see more before he finally fires him.”

Meanwhile, the Conservatives were dealing with another controversial candidate of their own. The party dropped Heather Leung as its candidate for Burnaby North-Seymour on Friday over offensive comments she made about the LGBTQ community.

However, video posted by CityNews in Vancouver on Saturday showed Ms. Leung’s team still putting up Conservative campaign signs with her name on them.

In a statement on Sunday, Conservative spokesperson Simon Jefferies said Ms. Leung has been told she cannot use the party’s name or logo, or represent herself as the Tory candidate.

All of the major parties have had candidate troubles. Cameron Ogilvie stepped down as Conservative candidate in Winnipeg last month over discriminatory social-media posts.

Source: Liberals keeping Cape Breton candidate despite past racist, sexist remarks on social media