Chris Reid, the Conservative party's candidate in Toronto Centre, has stepped down voluntarily, a party spokesman said Sunday.

Reid told the party he was withdrawing to pursue other interests.

On Saturday,  a Liberal blogger posted a number of excerpts from Reid's blog, Political Thoughts From a Gay Conservative. That site is no longer available.

Kory Teneycke, spokesman for Conservative Leader Stephen Harper, said he only found out about the blog comments on Saturday when he was informed that Reid was not going to stand for the party.

In his blog, according to BigCityLib blog, Reid criticized passengers on the bus in Manitoba where Tim McLean, 22, was beheaded in a gruesome killing in July.

Passengers and the driver "stood by and watched another person being butchered, and couldn't muster up any courage or self-sacrifice to intervene," Reid wrote. 

"This is where socialism [has] gotten us folks, a castrated effeminate population."

He went on to say that if Canadians were allowed to carry concealed handguns, they could defend themselves.

The new Conservative candidate in Toronto Centre is David Gentili. He recently worked in Harper's office.