NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said that the resignations of two of his candidates were the “right decision” after old Twitter posts recently came to light that were deemed to be antisemitic.
At a campaign stop in Windsor, Ont., on Wednesday morning, Mr. Singh was asked about Sidney Coles and Dan Osborne, two NDP candidates that were running in the ridings of Toronto-St. Paul’s and Nova Scotia’s Cumberland-Colchester, respectively. Both stepped down less than a week before election day on Sept. 20, after each had an old Twitter post resurface.
“Their comments were completely wrong and have no place in our party,” he said. “They made a decision and I think it was the right decision.” Mr. Singh added that his party is unequivocally opposed to antisemitism and that their messages were “completely unacceptable.” He also pointed out that his former candidates said they’ll get educational training.
When asked, Mr. Singh did not directly address why he didn’t pro-actively remove those candidates from his party. He was also asked why the NDP’s vetting process did not catch the problematic postings; he replied that social media can present challenges to that process and they’re constantly working to improve it.
Ms. Coles has now deleted her Twitter account, but reportedly posted a comment that connected Israel to missing vaccines. Mr. Osborne was reported to have tweeted to Oprah Winfrey two years ago asking whether Auschwitz was a real place. He tweeted an apology over the weekend.
With only a few days left in the campaign, Mr. Singh was also asked about the issue of strategic voting, which can cause some NDP supporters to switch to the Liberals at the last minute in order to prevent a Conservative government.
“I don’t want you to be afraid of either the Liberals or the Conservatives,” he said. “I want you to make a decision based on what you care about, what’s important to you.”
The party is running digital ads this week that address strategic voting head-on, in the hopes of encouraging people to vote with their conscience.
The NDP campaign is in Southwestern Ontario on Wednesday, scheduled to make stops in Essex, London, Niagara, Hamilton and Brampton. Mr. Singh is also planning on holding a livestream event on gaming platform Twitch on Wednesday evening, something he’s previously done with U.S. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, with the aim of engaging younger voters.
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