Another one bites the dust.
The Liberals have fired a third candidate this week after NDP revelations revealed the man used an f-word gay slur on Facebook, raising questions about the vetting process for Liberal hopefuls in the June 2 election.
The termination of Chatham-Kent-Leamington hopeful Alec Mazurek was announced about 30 minutes after party leader Steven Del Duca was caught off-guard about the information at a Scarborough news conference on mental health supports.
“Mr. Mazurek has officially terminated,” Liberal press Secretary Andrea Ernesaks said in a statement.
Del Duca had pledged to drop Mazurek if the revelations were true and said “reckless” comments cannot be tolerated.
“That is not what we stand for,” Del Duca said.
New Democrats released screen grabs of the offending comment and another using the word “bitches.”
The firing came a day after Liberals axed their Parry Sound-Muskoka candidate, Barry Stanley, for his unproven theory on the cause of homosexuality.
Mazurek was a long-shot in Chatham-Kent-Leamington, a riding that has mostly been held by Progressive Conservatives in recent years.
On Tuesday, Liberals dumped Aidan Kallioinen as their candidate in Sault Ste. Marie. Reasons were not disclosed.
In Kitchener, Doug Ford was forced to defend past actions of Progressive Conservative candidates, including Stephen Lecce, his education minister, who has apologized for participating in a fraternity “slave auction” while a Western University student in 2006.
“He’s acknowledged that it was inappropriate and he’s apologized for attending this event as a teenager. Mr. Lecce has been a strong advocate of combating racism in schools and he has my full support,” Ford said.
“This is something he did when he was 19 years old and in university. But let me tell you something about Stephen Lecce … he’s passionate about fighting for marginalized groups,” the Tory leader said.
Ford was far less empathetic when asked about revelations that some Tory MPPs – including Lisa MacLeod, his tourism minister – supplemented their six-figure salaries with riding association funds.
“I’ll be pretty frank, I wasn’t too happy when I when I found out about this,” he fumed in the wake of MacLeod, who earns $165,851, receiving $44,000 from her Nepean PC riding association between 2018 and 2020. At least seven other Tory MPPs also got payments from their riding associations.
“I’ve been assured that all rules were followed, the expenses are independently audited, they’re reviewed and approved by elections (Ontario).”
But Ford said after the June 2 election he wants “to sit down with all the parties” and ensure the practice ends.
“I want to take a good hard look at these rules and tighten them up.”
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