Chris Austin, Liberal candidate, pulled for views 'irreconcilable' with party values

The Liberal Party has removed another Alberta candidate for expressing views that don't conform to the party's values. Chris Austin was pulled after Facebook posts came to light.

New nomination meeting tomorrow night in Edmonton-area riding of Sturgeon River-Parkland

The Liberal Party has removed another Alberta candidate for expressing views that it says don't conform to the party's values.

In a statement Wednesday, the party said Chris Austin is no longer a candidate in Sturgeon River-Parkland.

"New information was brought to our attention which led to the revocation of his green light status, ending his candidacy," the party said.

"Some of Chris Austin`s views, as articulated in past comments, are irreconcilable with the values of the Liberal Party of Canada."

Facebook posts still visible on Chris Austin's page include comments made after the Oct. 22 shootings in Ottawa that said "Harper has turned our Nation's Capital into a War Zone as his thirst for War," and suggest the RCMP was the "Canadian Gestapo." 

A screen grab circulating online of another post warned about "Radical Islam" being implemented by a "Leftist Government."

A new nomination meeting will be held Thursday evening in the Edmonton-area riding of Sturgeon River–Parkland. The party said that in accordance with its rules, Travis Dueck would be acclaimed as the new Liberal candidate.

Vetting followed nomination?

Austin's time as a candidate was brief: He was just nominated on Sept. 7.

In a new post, screengrabbed and circulating online Tuesday evening, Austin said that after over a week of being vetted he "finally had care and control" over his Facebook account.

In that post, he said Liberals would not let him run "for saying something in my past."

He also announced his intention to run as an Independent, and asked friends and family to donate to his campaign.

When asked specifically whether Austin was vetted only after his nomination, a party spokesman said the campaign had no further comment.

Austin ran federally in 2008 and 2011 but finished well back from Conservative Rona Ambose, the cabinet minister and Harper insider who is the incumbent he'd have been matching up against again this time. He also ran provincially in 2012.

A biography distributed for a previous campaign said he served as a military police officer.

Candidate deadline approaches

This riding will be the party's second nomination do-over in this campaign.

The Liberal candidate in Calgary–Nose Hill, Ala Buzreba, apologized and resigned earlier in the campaign for things she said on Twitter when she was 16.

A third Alberta candidate fingered for off-colour remarks, Chris Brown in Peace River-Westlock, apologized for making profanity-laced remarks on Twitter, attributing them to booze-fuelled anger over the death of his partner in an accident involving a drunk driver. He remains on the ballot.

All three parties have had similar candidate controversies in recent weeks, in a growing list of social media trip-ups.

The deadline for all parties to nominate their slates of candidates in advance of the Oct. 19 federal election is Sept. 28. 

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