Saskatchewan

Conservative candidate in Regina questioned over vanishing online comments

The Conservative candidate for Regina-Wascana is being asked about the removal of certain comments from the internet — including the candidate's own comments in an online newsletter and those of constituents on the candidate's Facebook page.

Constituents say comments disappearing from Michael Kram's Facebook page

The Conservative candidate for Regina-Wascana is being asked about the removal of certain comments from the internet — including the candidate's own comments in an online newsletter and those of constituents on the candidate's Facebook page.

Michael Kram's campaign manager, Ian Shields, says his candidate did an interview with the editor of Saskatchewan's Choose Life News, a newsletter published by the Saskatchewan Pro-Life Association.

That article does not, however, appear in the online version of the newsletter. Shields says after the interview was conducted, the publication asked if the article could also be placed online and Kram said, 'No'.

But on Thursday Kram addressed the missing article, and said he didn't tell the organization to take it off website. Kram said a few days after the interview, he received a phone call asking if the story was for the newspaper or website.

"I said I thought I was told it would be for the newspaper but it's your newspaper and your website and you're free to do with it whatever you wish," Kram said. "I did become aware more recently that it was put up and taken down and then blocked out but that's not any of my business, that's the business of the newspaper and that website."

The interview was done in August by the editor of Choose Life News, Ukrainian priest Father Jeffrey Stephaniuk who says it more common for politicians to speak openly about their beliefs these days.

"In general the candidates are making it known that they are unashamedly or unabashedly pro-life," Stephaniuk said. He says although he was not involved in removing the article from the online version of the newsletter, it was likely a misunderstanding.

Stephaniuk emailed CBC a copy of his original interview, which includes a question about whether Kram has the "political will" to defund abortion in Saskatchewan. 

Kram responds, "I certainly have the political will. The problem is that with 338 seats in parliament, I'm only one, and once we see how many pro-life MPs are elected, and if I'm fortunate enough to be elected, I would like to join the pro-life caucus and move right to life issues forward."

Despite the confusion over how the article was deleted from the online newsletter, Kram said he stands by his comments.

"My personal views on that matter are that I'm pro-life. The Conservative party's policy and Prime Minister Stephen Harper have been very clear that that's not a matter in which or government would introduce any new legislation," he said.

Deleted Facebook posts also questioned

Meanwhile, other constituents were posting questions to the candidate's official Facebook page which were later removed.

A video sent to CBC from one of those posting, shows comments going up on the page and later, disappearing. Follow up questions about what questions were being deleted, also no longer appear on the site.

Kram says he and some of his friends monitor the page and often remove negative posts, although he said did not recall the posts captured in the video. 

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