Politics

Some candidates dropped by parties after gaffes will stay on ballot

Even though some candidates have resigned or been dropped by their parties, it's still possible to cast a vote for them. That's because Elections Canada prohibits any candidates from being replaced after the deadline to register as a candidate passes.

Cheryl Thomas and Jagdish Grewal remain on ballot despite being dumped

Dropped Conservative candidate Jagdish Grewal and resigned Liberal candidate Cheryl Thomas will still be on the ballot. Elections Canada prohibits replacing candidates after its deadline passes. (CBC/Cheryl Thomas/Facebook)

The Conservatives may have dumped Toronto candidate Jagdish Grewal for writing about therapies to turn gay youth straight, but voters in his riding will still be able to cast a ballot for him on election day.

The same goes for former B.C. hopeful Cheryl Thomas, who resigned from the Liberals last week after calling mosques "brainwashing stations" on Facebook.

That's because Elections Canada prohibits any candidates from being replaced after the deadline to register as a candidate, even if they are removed or forced to resign from the race. The deadline this election was Sept. 28. Grewal was dropped by the party Oct. 6, while Thomas resigned Sept. 30.

Both Grewal and Thomas remain the official candidates for the Conservatives and Liberals respectively in the eyes of Elections Canada, and their names will be on ballots along with their former party affiliation.

"From our point of view, because [Grewal] became the official candidate, he will remain on the ballot with his name associated with the party," said Serge Fleyfel with Elections Canada media relations.

The Liberals almost had another ex-candidate remain on the ballot. The party scrambled to fill its candidacy in the B.C. riding of Cowichan-Malahat-Langford, after Maria Manna resigned on the day of the Elections Canada deadline over Facebook posts she had made questioning the Sept. 11 attacks. The party added candidate Luke Krayenhoff at the last minute.

No records kept

Technically, both Grewal and Thomas could still be elected.

If either candidate is victorious, Fleyfel said he or she would be able to choose to serve as an Independent MP or to resign. 

However, Grewal isn't ready to fully cede his affiliation with the Conservatives just yet. He told CBC News Wednesday that he will continue to use Conservative campaign signs and hopes to be reinstated in the party after the election. Grewal maintains that the editorial in the Punjabi Post that led to his ouster was mistranslated and that he is not homophobic. 

Elections Canada does not keep records about how many candidates remain on the ballot after dropping out, but the situation has happened before.

Julian West, a federal candidate for the NDP in Saanich-Gulf Islands during the 2008 election, was forced to resign after reports that he stripped naked in front of a group of teenage girls at a retreat in 1996. West's name remained on the ballot because his resignation came after the deadline.

He received 5.69 per cent of the vote — placing fourth out of eight candidates.

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