The former B.C. NDP candidate who was forced to resign over controversial comments made on a local media website is now running as an Independent.
Kelowna-Mission candidate Dayleen Van Ryswyk was dropped by the B.C. NDP on Tuesday, the first day of the provincial election campaign, after the B.C. Liberals released a series of controversial blog posts attributed to her.
Some of Van Ryswyk's comments took aim at First Nations.
"It’s not the status cards, it’s the fact that we have been paying out of the nose for generations for something that isn't our doing," reads one post on Castanet, an Okanagan area website. "If their ancestors sold out too cheap it’s not my fault and I shouldn’t have to be paying for any mistake or whatever you want to call it from my hard-earned money."
The posts also took aim at the French-Canadian community.
"Seems the only group of people universally hated around the world other than the Americans are the French and French-Canadians. The bigots are the French and not us," the blog reads.
"I’m getting so sick of having French stuffed down my throat. This isn’t Quebec. It’s western Canada. We speak English here. Why are we forced to have it at our western Canadian hosted Olympics?"
On Wednesday afternoon, Van Ryswyk announced her new plans to run in the provincial vote with a tweet: "Yes, running as Independent after incredible support. People want a true Independent voice," she wrote. "Check the opinion polls i'm @ 65-80% 4 Independent."
Shortly afterward, Van Ryswyk confirmed her plans with CBC News, and said she has received overwhelming support since she was forced to resign on Tuesday.
"I'm talking hundreds, almost thousands of people from all across the country," she said. "I never wanted to quit, I've always wanted to get my voice out there and be a voice for the people."
Ryswyk also said her comments on the website were taken out of context.
"They picked little bits out of it that didn't sound very good and that's what they ran with. Maybe it's for the better, because now I can actually have the voice that I intended to have in the first place," she said.
"And I'm not anti-First Nations or French," Ryswyk continued. "My grandfather's French-Canadian, I grew up in a French-Canadian home. My brother, him and I are both adopted, he's half native... I have no malice."