The Green Party candidate for the B.C. riding of Fleetwood-Port Kells has resigned over a quotation about rape on his Facebook page.
"The Green Party of Canada greatly regrets the posting of inappropriate statements on the Facebook page of Alan Saldanha and has accepted his resignation as the Green candidate in Surrey," the party announced in a statement on Wednesday.
Kieran Green, the party's director of communications, said in a follow-up interview that the inappropriate comment was "a repetition of a quote from some years back from some basketball coach to do with rape."
The Surrey Leader newspaper on Wednesday reported that, on the Facebook page, Mr. Saldanha's favourite quote was listed as: "If rape is inevitable, lie back and enjoy it!"
Mr. Green said his party is firmly committed to creating a safe environment for women. In fact, he said, party leader Elizabeth May is the only candidate who's discussed women's issues during the federal election campaign.
Mr. Green said the party has a social media vetting process, but officials learned of Mr. Saldanha's comment only shortly before the Surrey Leader story came out.
"What had happened was our organizers had actually caught that statement earlier and had got him to take it down and we were just in the process of working that out when it became public news, and at that point the candidate offered to resign and we accepted," he said.
When asked whether the candidate would have been asked to step down without the public attention, Mr. Green said: "At that point, that was just the very first step and we were just working out what the next steps would be."
The party will not run another candidate in the riding because the Elections Canada deadline has passed.
Efforts to reach Mr. Saldanha by phone and e-mail were not successful. His biography was pulled from the Green Party website, but a cached copy could still be viewed.
It said he arrived in Canada as a landed immigrant in 1998 at the age of 51. He chose to run under the Green Party banner, the biography said, due to Canada's backtracking on the Kyoto Protocol. Mr. Saldanha, an op-ed writer for the Korea Times, is a practicing Roman Catholic and has been married for 32 years. He has three adult children.
The Fleetwood-Port Kells riding has a population of more than 120,000. It was won in 2008 by Conservative Nina Grewal, who is running for re-election.Report Typo/Error