Jamie Hall says he won't delete misogynistic tweets from his Twitter feed, even if they have resulted in the Manitoba Liberal Party severing ties with him.
Hall resigned as the Liberal candidate in Winnipeg's Southdale constituency on Thursday — just two days after he was nominated — amid controversy about the social media posts, in which he called women "whores," "bitches" and "skanks."
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He also faced criticism for his 2011 novel, 7 Deadly Women, which compares explicit sex acts by women to driving a race car and refers to characters such as "the slut" and the "good girl."
While he has apologized for the posts, Hall defended his choice of words in an exclusive interview with CBC's Up to Speed program, saying he won't remove the tweets in question.
"The thing about being a club promoter, and I've done TV shows and I released my book — it's been a very public life," he said Thursday afternoon.
"I think that people are generally fairly aware of my background and I'm owning my words 100 per cent, and I don't think it's a sound policy at all to go back and delete."
Hall said some of the now contentious comments were part of a promotional campaign for the book, while others were meant to be satire.
Earlier in the afternoon, Liberal Leader Rana Bokhari called Hall's remarks "disgusting" and said she doesn't know how the party's vetting committee missed those tweets.
Hall said the Liberals did have access to his social media accounts and he went through multiple interviews before he was accepted as a candidate.
After the interview, Bokhari issued another statement saying, "The Manitoba Liberal Party has severed all connection with Jamie Hall at this time. All social media services have now been transitioned."
'I never took it personally,' says girlfriend
Among the tweets that generated criticism was one referring to his girlfriend, Dez Joyal, as a "skank" — a term that Hall claimed really means "jerk" within his circle of friends.
Joyal said she was not offended by the tweet in question.
"That was such a long time ago — the beginning of our relationship, actually, I think — and that never would have fazed me," she said.
"I never took it personally. I know his humour, I understand it. It was funny. No one else had ever brought up that as an issue or to be offensive when it came out, so I find it just kind of unfortunate that it's coming out now like this."
Hall added, "My girlfriend is a strong, independent woman. She would not be sitting here in the studio next to me if I called her a skank."
Despite the controversy, Hall said he will not censor himself in the future.
"I will continue to probably use vulgar words in my blogs and things because I honestly believe that the power of the word is in the way that it's constructed," he said.
"If we keep pulling microbytes out of people's lives, we're not going to have any politicians."