Calgary

Alberta Tories will review controversial Calgary candidate

The provincial Conservative party will review the nomination of a Calgary businessman who was forced to apologize for comments against gay people, Premier Ed Stelmach said Thursday.

The provincial Conservative party will review the nomination of a Calgary businessman who was forced to apologize for comments against gay people, Premier Ed Stelmach said Thursday.

But the premier said stopped short of saying he won't sign the nomination papers for Craig Chandler,whodefeated two other candidates to win the Progressive Conservative candidacy in Calgary-Egmont last weekend.

"This particular issue with respect to the candidacy, there is some significant information that's come forward and to be fair to all parties, I'm not going to discuss it until I see the information and it goes to the executive," Stelmach said.

Chandler was the subject of complaints to the Canadian Human Rights Commission over remarks he made against homosexuality on his radio program.

In January, Chandler agreed to issue a public apology for those statements and to take down the offendingepisodes from his show's website archives in exchange for the complainant withdrawing the grievance.

Duane Bratt, who teaches political studies at Mount Royal College, said Chandler'scandidacyplaces the premier in a tough position.

If Stelmach turns Chandler away, he'll send a message about intolerance but offend Tories in Calgary-Egmont and alienate social conservatives, Bratt said.

But if the nomination is ratified, Bratt warned it would be controversial.

"Chandler will become a lightning rod for criticism. His previous comments are going to be brought back ad nauseum, he will be a centre plank of Liberal and [NDP] speeches throughout any election campaign."

A decision from the party is expected within a few days.

Chandler, who could not be reached for comment Thursday,ran for the leadership of the federal Conservative party in 2003 and was also a Reform party candidate in Ontario's Hamilton Mountain ridingin 1993.

Heruns a business in Calgary, and was formerly the CEO of Concerned Christians Canada Inc.

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