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Calgary UCP candidate pulls out of campaign amid controversy over online comments
Published Tuesday, March 19, 2019 8:07AM MDT Last Updated Tuesday, March 19, 2019 7:24PM MDT
A United Conservative candidate in the riding of Calgary-Mountain View has decided to pull out of the campaign amid allegations that she’ echoed white nationalist rhetoric’ in an online conversation.
Caylan Ford was a candidate in the riding of Calgary-Mountain View and made the announcement on her Facebook page on Tuesday morning.
This week, the independent non-profit newsroom, PressProgress, published an online story alleging that Ford argued that white supremacist terrorists are not treated the same as Islamic terrorists.
It is alleged the comments were made in a series of Facebook posts about a 2017 rally in Charlottesville, Virginia where a white supremacist rammed his car into the crowd, killing a woman and injuring several others.
In her Facebook post, Ford said she ‘strives to treat all people with compassion and understanding’ and that the comments posted by PressProgress are ‘distortions’ and not reflective of her views.
Political Science Professor and Chair in the Department of Economics, Justice, and Policy Studies at Mount Royal University, Duane Bratt, says there has been a series of other people who have run for the UCP and have been removed because of ties to white supremacy.
“If you look at Ford herself, she was being raised as a star candidate. This was a winnable riding for the UCP, even though it’s a progressive area it was probably the only riding in Alberta where all four parties were competitive. They had a big rally, opening the office on the weekend that included Loreen Harper, Stephen Harper’s wife, so that you had all of this stuff in play and then this stuff breaks and she steps down. I think, being told to step down by the higher ups,” he said. “Why do all these people all seem to be attracted to the UCP? I think that’s a bigger question. Even when they get punted, as Ford was, why do they feel comfortable there? Perhaps it’s just about being attracted to power or perhaps there are other people in the party where they feel that their views would be felt sympathetically.”
Ford wrote that she is resigning as a candidate to ‘avoid becoming a distraction’ to the campaign.
During a Tuesday afternoon election campaign kick-off rally in Leduc, UCP leader Jason Kenney addressed Ford's resignation. “Let me be clear, I condemn the remarks included in the text that she had sent,” said Kenney. “We will be appointing a new candidate in the Calgary-Mountain View constituency.”