The provincial Progressive Conservatives are staying mum on the reasons they parted company with their chosen candidate for Thunder Bay-Superior North.
An Ontario PC Party spokesperson, communications director Alan Sakach, said Monday the decision to remove Tamara Johnson from the ballot is an "internal party matter," and would not comment further.
In a Facebook post this month, Johnson said business owners selling gas and cigarettes on Fort William First Nation have an advantage over their counterparts in Thunder Bay. Johnson believes she was turfed because of those comments.
Lakehead University political science professor Laure Paquette agrees.
"The problem is, it was what you might call in the business a dead-bang political loser," said Paquette.
"There was no way she was going to be able to make comments on this topic without attracting negative attention."
Paquette said it's possible Johnson's views on First Nations businesses might have some support in Thunder Bay.
"[But] I don't think that's going to be true province-wide, and so she was guaranteed to have repercussions."
'I did not resign'
The Ontario PC Party issued a statement that quoted Johnson, and Sakach told CBC News she had agreed with the message.
"I support the aims and objectives of the Ontario PC Party as well as our leader Tim Hudak’s plan and vision for a better Ontario," it read.
"I wish Tim Hudak and all the Ontario PC Party candidates the greatest success in the upcoming election.”
Johnson has denied making those remarks. In an email to CBC News, she said she was asked by the party to say she resigned.
"I did not resign. They threw me out for speaking the truth, and now the cowards in Toronto are playing some form of perverted 'politics' to save face," she wrote.