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The Old Dirt Dug Up In The Ontario Election Just Won't Stop

With less than two weeks to go, the steady stream of embarrassing social media posts shows no sign of slowing down.

by Mack Lamoureux
May 29 2018, 5:26pm

Frank Gunn/Canadian Press

We are in the final stretch of the Ontario election and we all know what that means, it's desperation time and we are finding out the best remaining dirt that may or may not sink candidates’ campaigns.

Just yesterday, Press Progress published a scoop showing that Donna Skelly, a potential cabinet minister if Doug Ford’s PCs get into power, gave a shout out to Free Bird Media, a far-right media outlet, at a Christmas event last year. Free Bird Media publishes interviews with white nationalists like Paul Fromm, Faith Goldy, and the publishers of Your Ward News. According to the article, Skelly had MAGA inspired hat with the media outlet’s name on it and promoted the outlet at a speech.

It’s not the only alt/far-right connection within the the PCs that has been highlighted over the campaign.

One of Ford’s handpicked candidates, Andrew Lawton, a former host on the far-right news outlet Rebel Media, has said so many shitty things in the past that it’s hard to list them all. These include racist posts about Muslims, misogynistic posts about women, homophobic comments about LGBTQ people, and calling a day commemorating the Polytechnique Shooting a “feminist holiday.” Lawton blamed his actions on mental health issues, apologized, and called his actions reckless. The coverage of Lawton’s previous statements came shortly after Ford got rid of Tanya Granic Allen. Ford spiked Allen after video of her saying she “almost vomit[s] in disbelief” after seeing Croatia’s plan for sexual education came out. She has since written an article for the National Post in which she said she was taken out of context. While Ford did dump Allen, he’s sticking with Lawton.

Meanwhile, the NDP has had their candidates thrust into the spotlight as they suddenly appear to have a real shot at winning after a decade of (near) irrelevance.

The Toronto Sun—which pushed its employees to go hard after the Liberals according to a leaked memo—has published two rather spectacular covers on NDP gaffes.

A cover saying “Hitler Haunts the NDP” was in regards to Scarborough–Agincourt candidate Tasleem Riaz who shared a Hitler meme on Facebook in 2011. The meme showed Nazi-saluting Hitler speaking to a crowd and was accompanied by the text “If you don’t like a rule…just follow it…reach on top…and change the rule.” Riaz, for what it’s worth, said that she doesn’t remember sharing the meme, doesn’t know how it showed up on her Facebook page, and is “horrified” by it.

The second Toronto Sun cover was “What the Fuck” (although the cowardly headline writers bleeped out the last word) in reference to Gurratan Singh, the brother of federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, holding a sign in 2006 that said, “Fuck the Police.” You better believe that it came complete with a pearl-clutching story about police officers with hurt feelings. Singh apologized for the sign unequivocally on his Facebook page.

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Two candidates, one Liberal and one NDP, have both indicated that (at least in the past) they were 9/11 truthers. Meanwhile a PC candidate retweeted something implying that healthcare is a “globalist plot.” However, we’ve reached a point where the internet has melted our brains to such a point that these are barely news.

All parties are accusing the other ones of double standards regarding the dirt dug up on their candidates because of course they are. I’m sure there are more examples that I’ve missed but hey, there’s less than two weeks to go, so I’m sure there will be more stories to write.

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