B.C. NDP candidate quits over 'hateful' comments on 1st campaign day
Controversial comments focus on First Nations, French-Canadians
The B.C. NDP dropped Kelowna-Mission candidate Dayleen Van Ryswyk on the first day of the provincial election campaign over controversial comments made on a local media website.
"Earlier today, I was made aware of unacceptable comments made by Kelowna-Mission NDP candidate Dayleen van Ryswyk," NDP Leader Adrian Dix said in a written release. "I have accepted Van Ryswyk’s resignation. A new B.C. NDP candidate will be announced shortly."
He said mistakes happen, and that's how Van Ryswyk slipped through the vetting process despite posting comments on the internet blasting compensation paid to First Nations.
The news comes after the B.C. Liberal issued a press release Tuesday morning calling for Van Ryswyk’s resignation. The party released a series of controversial blog posts attributed to Van Ryswyk.
Some of Van Ryswyk's comments take 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 take 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?"
B.C. Liberal candidate Mary Polak called on Dix to fire Ryswyk.
"Clearly, these remarks are not becoming [of] a potential member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia … Adrian Dix should never have signed her nomination papers with these kinds of beliefs," she said in a written statement.
"Van Ryswyk has made unacceptable and hateful statements against First Nations and French speaking Canadians. There is no place in British Columbia for that type of language."