Jerry Natanine, Clyde River mayor, won't represent NDP

Clyde River Mayor Jerry Natanine had hoped to represent the NDP in this fall's federal election. In a Facebook post Friday, he announced that the plan 'did not work out,' later citing posts on social media as a reason for his failed bid.
Clyde River mayor Jerry Natanine speaks to Toronto media outside of the Federal Appeals Court earlier this year. His bid to represent the NDP in this fall's election 'did not work out.' (CBC)

Clyde River Mayor Jerry Natanine will not be Nunavut's NDP candidate in the upcoming federal election.

Natanine announced the news on his Facebook page Friday. In the post, Natanine thanked his supporters and simply said his desire to run in the election "did not work out."

Natanine expanded on the decision to CBC, saying that it "turns out whatever was in my social media was questionable, and didn't fall well with the headquarters."

In particular, he pointed to several Facebook posts in which he showed his support for Palestine in their long-standing conflict with Israel.

"I often side with the Palestinians because of all the hardship they are facing and because nothing is being re-built over there," he said.

Natanine says he was told NDP headquarters was concerned his opponents might use those posts to suggest he was anti-Semitic.

A post on Facebook by Jerry Natanine on February 14, 2014. Natanine said that his pro-Palestine Facebook posts were the reason for his failed bid to win the NDP nomination in the upcoming federal election. Nunavut's NDP riding association had no comment. (Facebook)

In response to Natanine's allegations, the Nunavut NDP riding association said that they had no comment, "except that application and vetting are a private and confidential matter.

"We are still waiting for other applications to be reviewed at our HQ in Ottawa and hope to announce soon."

Natanine was the face of a recent fight to stop proposed seismic testing in Baffin Bay and the Davis Strait. The testing was eventually postponed, pending a court decision.

Natanine said that he will not run in the upcoming election as an independent candidate, and despite his failed attempt to win the nomination, he still supports the NDP.

"I have no idea who they will choose as their candidate, but the NDP movement is happening all over the country," he said. "I hope it hits Nunavut as well.

"We've had our MP for two terms now, and I have a feeling that Nunavut Inuit are looking at: 'Leona has been this way during her terms, and we want a person who is the other way.' You know, like someone who will be truthful when they're talking, and can support Inuit in their fight, in whatever situation that might be."