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Two NDP candidates quit after social media posts sparked backlash

Two NDP candidates resigned after comments on social media sparked backlash.

The party confirmed that Dan Osborne, the candidate for Cumberland-Colchester, Nova Scotia, and Sidney Coles, the candidate for Toronto-St. Paul’s, ended their campaigns and “agreed to learn more about anti-Semitism.”

“New Democrats are united against discrimination of all kinds. We are determined to take lasting and meaningful action to end prejudice and hatred in all its forms, ”said George Soule, NDP spokesperson.

Coles, who has since deleted his Twitter account, reportedly said Israel was linked with the missing COVID-19 vaccines.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh condemned the messages during a campaign shutdown on Tuesday, but did not demand her resignation.

“The candidate offered a full and unequivocal apology. This apology was recently accepted by (Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs). It was the right thing to do,” Singh said.

“These comments were false and I am encouraged to see a clear apology and a complete withdrawal of these comments.”

Osborne reportedly tweeted to Oprah in 2019 asking if Auschwitz was a real place. He responded to the backlash of the Twitter post over the weekend by saying he tweeted it when he was a teenager.

“I want to apologize. The role of Auschwitz and the history of the holocaust is a role we should never forget,” Osborne tweeted on Sunday.

“Anti-Semitism needs to be fought and stopped. I don’t remember posting this, I was 16 then and can honestly say I didn’t mean to do any harm.”

When asked on Tuesday whether candidates should step down because of anti-Semitic comments, Singh said there was no room in New Democrats for racism or prejudice.

“We want to make sure people know that when you vote for the New Democrats you will have a leader who believes in it and I expect each of my candidates to believe in it as well.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on September 15, 2021.


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