Ottawa

Green Party candidate withdraws in Ottawa Valley riding

The Green Party of Canada says their candidate in Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke won't represent them if elected because of comments he made while campaigning.

Michael Lariviere compared vaccine passports to Nazi law

Michael Lariviere has withdrawn as the Green Party of Canada candidate for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke, which stretches from Ottawa's northwestern border up to the Mattawa area. (CBC)

The Green Party of Canada says their candidate in Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke won't represent them if elected because of comments he made while campaigning.

A spokesperson said in an email to CBC Monday morning the party received a complaint last week about a statement made by Michael Lariviere.

They didn't specify which comment, but a Sunday night Facebook post from an account saying it's the district association for the riding northwest of Ottawa said it happened at a debate last week.

A livestream recap of a debate on YourTV Ottawa Valley shows Lariviere answering a question about efforts to encourage people to get a COVID-19 vaccine by suggesting proof-of-vaccination systems are the first step toward Nazism.

"I've been vaccinated, but I don't want to have to walk around with a passport ... the way I look at it is the Gestapo and the German military during the Second World War wanted people to be tattooed," he said.

"And this is the next, you know, the beginning of that step. We've already got an autocracy in Ottawa, we don't have a democracy, and that troubles me."

Jewish leaders in the Ottawa area and elsewhere have said comparing the pandemic response to the actions of the Nazis is "vile" and "dangerous."

CBC News has attempted to reach Lariviere for comment. His information has been removed from the party's website.

Longtime Conservative riding

Voters in Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke have elected Conservative Cheryl Gallant each chance they've had since 2000. The Green candidate finished fourth in 2019.

Independent, Liberal, NDP and People's Party candidates join Gallant and Lariviere on the ballot in this year's election.

Lariviere will be on the ballot as a Green candidate — as he has been during advanced voting — but the party spokesperson said he will not represent them in the House.

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