Ontario PC leadership candidate distances campaign from online support from white nationalist

Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership candidate Tanya Granic Allen on Sunday moved to distance her campaign from the apparent support of a man with noted ties to white nationalist movements.

Tanya Granic Allen said she 'strongly condemns' self-avowed white nationalist Paul Fromm

Ontario PC Leadership candidate Tanya Granic Allen strongly disavowed any support from Paul Fromm in a series of tweets on Sunday. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership candidate Tanya Granic Allen on Sunday moved to distance her campaign from the apparent support of a man with noted ties to white nationalist movements.

The Toronto Star reported on the weekend that Paul Fromm, director of an organization called the Canadian Association for Free Expression and anti-immigration activist, tweeted, "Check out Tanya Granic Allen for PC Leader. I just joined." Fromm included a link to Granic Allen's campaign website, where voters can register their support for the candidate. 

The Star article also reported that Granic Allen did not respond to requests for comment on Fromm's tweet. 

On Sunday, however, Granic Allen — a staunch social conservative who has said she was inspired to run by controversial University of Toronto psychology professor Jordan Peterson — sent out a torrent of tweets disavowing Fromm and criticizing the Star for its report. 

"Shame on [the Toronto Star] for giving a platform to this repugnant KKK guy, whose name I refuse to mention, and whom I strongly condemn," she wrote. 

Fromm has been pictured at various events in the past with U.S. white supremacist leaders such as former Ku Klux Klan member David Duke. 

"If any of this guy's KKK ilk tries to join the PC Party, their membership applications will surely be rejected. And rightly so!" Granic Allen continued. 

She went on to say that Fromm is not a registered member of the Ontario PC party, adding, "No place in our party for white supremacists."

As Granic Allen was issuing her informal response, her PC leadership rival Caroline Mulroney sent a tweet of her own, saying she is "outraged to see white nationalist Paul Fromm involved in our leadership race.

My campaign will challenge his membership. There is room for many different viewpoints in our party, but not racist ones. I call on Tanya and all candidates to join me in denouncing his involvement," she said. 

While the three other leadership candidates were active on their social media accounts Sunday, none opted to jump into the fray as of midday. 

Granic Allen responded directly to Mulroney, tweeting that Mulroney "should not be giving a platform and attention to a KKK guy by mentioning his name which I refuse to do."