Two NDP candidates resign at start of federal campaign
Two NDP candidates have resigned at the start of the federal election campaign, one because of domestic abuse allegations and the other over “problematic” comments he made to pro-pipeline activists on social media.
Olivier Mathieu, the NDP candidate for the Montreal-area riding of LaSalle-Emard-Verdun, said the domestic abuse allegations against him are false, and he is withdrawing because he doesn’t want to be a distraction to the party.
“If we had not been in an election campaign, I would have worked to set the record straight and clear my reputation while continuing my work with the party,” Mathieu wrote in a post on the riding’s Facebook page on Wednesday.
Mathieu’s resignation came after a woman posted a photo of herself with a swollen and bruised lip on Facebook, tagging several official NDP Facebook pages.
“What message are we sending to our daughters, our mothers, our sisters; the women we love, live with, work with; to endorse a candidate who regularly abused his wife?” Becca Stuart wrote.
“Please reconsider your endorsement of @olivier.mathieu.3998 as the NDP candidate in LaSalle-Émard-Verdun.”
Mathieu denied the allegation in his own post.
“What has been said about me is false, and I intend to prove it,” he wrote.
Hours before Mathieu’s announcement, an NDP candidate in British Columbia said he has been asked to withdraw from the campaign over “flippant and aggressive” comments he made to pro-pipeline activists on social media two years ago.
Dock Currie, who was nominated in the southern B.C. riding of Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo, did not get into details about the “problematic” comments he made, but said they “do not reflect who I am today, nor do I stand by them in the form in which they were made.”
“I understand completely that they would be an unnecessary and unwarranted distraction from the vital message and campaign of the NDP across the country,” he wrote in a Facebook post.
The NDP told CTV News Vancouver that Currie’s comments were missed during the party's initial candidate vetting process, but came to light in recent days.
Speaking to reporters in Brampton, Ont., on Wednesday, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said the party’s candidates “have to live up to our standards.”
“As soon as information arises where they are not meeting the standards … we then move ahead to ensure that they are no longer candidates. And that’s what happened recently,” he said.
“I’m confident that people can trust us to know that we’re making good decisions about the candidates we have.”
Replacement candidates have not been named for the two affected ridings.
The NDP has confirmed 245 candidates so far and said Wednesday it expects to add another 15 candidates by the end of the day.
With files from CTV News Vancouver and CTV News Montreal