New Brunswick

People's Alliance drops candidate for making Islamophobic comments online

The People's Alliance has dropped a candidate because of online comments that appeared to be Islamphobic.

Memramcook-Tantramar's Heather Collins will no longer be running for the People's Alliance

Heather Collins was removed as a candidate for the People's Alliance on Wednesday after Islamophobic comments she made on Twitter last year. (Facebook)

People's Alliance Leader Kris Austin has dropped one of the party's election candidates because she complained online about the number of Muslims immigrating to this country.

As of Wednesday, Memramcook-Tantramar's Heather Collins is no longer a candidate for the party — just five days before the New Brunswick election on Sept. 14.

She's the third election candidate to be dropped this week by a political party in the province.

"As soon as Mr. Austin was aware of her candidacy, she was no longer welcome," said Laverne Stewart, a spokesperson for the Alliance.

In a tweet from June 2019, Collins said Muslim people are the only people let into Canada and it's "sickening."  

In an earlier tweet, Collins shared a video of a man hitting a Muslim women, saying "this is what is coming to Canada if people don't wake up and wake up soon."

Collins accompanied People's Alliance Leader Kris Austin on the campaign trail during an announcement in Riverview on Tuesday. 

This isn't the first time candidates running for the People's Alliance have been outspoken on social media.

Former People's Alliance candidate Terry Collette in Miramichi Bay-Neguac has posted conspiracy theories about 9/11, Atlantis, and a supposed cover-up of life on Mars. (CBC)

In 2017, People's Alliance candidate Paul Seelye in Saint John Lancaster said on Facebook that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau "stands in gay parades while the Bible is pushed aside." He also reposted criticisms of official bilingualism.

Seelye is running in the Saint John Lancaster riding again this year.

People's Alliance candidate Paul Seelye in Saint John Lancaster said on Facebook that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “stands in gay parades while the Bible is pushed aside.” He also reposted criticisms of official bilingualism. (CBC)

And former Alliance candidate, Terry Collette in Miramichi Bay-Neguac, posted conspiracy theories about 9/11, Atlantis, and a supposed cover-up of life on Mars. He has also shared material claiming that Israel controls the terrorist group ISIS.

PCs and Liberals each drop candidates 

Earlier in the week, former Victoria-La Vallée PC candidate Roland Michaud and former Saint-Croix Liberal candidate John Gardner, an openly gay man, were dropped from the party over derogatory comments online about the LGBTQ community.

In a Facebook post two years ago, Gardner said it was important to recognize everyone, not just minority groups, after the Village of Chipman made headlines for raising a straight pride flag

Michaud shared a meme in 2018 from a Facebook page called Guy Stuff that referenced a 2016 decision by Target stores to allow "transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity."

Both Michaud and Gardner have said they're still running and will sit as Independents if they win. 

All three dropped candidates will still appear on ballots with their former party affiliation, since the ballots are already printed.

About the Author

Elizabeth Fraser

Reporter/Editor

Elizabeth Fraser is a reporter/editor with CBC New Brunswick based in Fredericton. She's originally from Manitoba. Story tip? elizabeth.fraser@cbc.ca

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