Chris Lloyd, Papineau Conservative candidate, resigns
He was acclaimed in February to run in Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau's riding
Chris Lloyd, a Conservative candidate in Montreal who said his campaign was part of an art project, has resigned.
His resignation came hours after CBC News revealed his campaign and party involvement were part of a decade-long art project which involved writing letters to Prime Minister Stephen Harper almost every day.
His campaign, he said, was intended to "mess with" the Conservative Party.
At an art discussion in Fredericton in March, Lloyd said he was a member of all political parties at one point, as well as a member of Leadnow, a group bent on preventing a Conservative majority.
Lloyd, a native of Saint John, N.B., was acclaimed in February as the candidate to run against Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau in the Montreal riding of Papineau.
Lloyd has refused to comment, but on Facebook, he posted that his political career is not over.
Part of an art project
In Lloyd's Dear PM project, he wrote a letter to the prime minister nearly every day for 15 years.
His letters ranged from personal to political.
"Getting tough on crime will not make Canada safer," he wrote to the PM in 2011, "It will just put more people in jail."
In Fredericton, Lloyd said he's been writing about his plan to become a candidate for years.
"I'm going to like mess with your party, I'm totally, like, going to wait till the writ is dropped then it's going to be party time," he said.
He became active in the Papineau riding in 2011, and eventually became president of the electoral district association.
Online, until Tuesday, he controlled both the riding's official Facebook page as well as his own blog, Certainly Not Justin. He often made winking posts, hinting that his heart wasn't in Conservative values.
In a statement Tuesday evening, a spokesperson for Trudeau said "the people of Papineau deserve the choice of credible candidates to represent them in Parliament. The Conservatives have not taken this obligation seriously."
NDP MP Alexandre Boulerice told CBC News that Lloyd becoming a candidate shows a lapse in the Conservatives' vetting process.
"I think Conservatives cannot do their own homework," he said.
That reflects badly on the party's credibility, he added.
"It's a joke, because they accept a guy like this, who is making a joke of them."