Jerry Bance, Conservative caught peeing in mug, no longer candidate, party says
'I deeply regret my actions': Appliance repair technician caught on CBC Marketplace hidden camera in 2012
A service technician caught on hidden camera urinating into a coffee mug during a 2012 house call to repair a leaky sink before he became a Conservative election candidate is no longer running, the Tories said today.
Jerry Bance "is no longer a candidate," said Conservative spokesman Stephen Lecce in a brief email to CBC News on Monday.
Lecce later confirmed to CBC News that Bance was dropped for not being truthful during the candidate screening process.
Lecce did not provide any further details, such as who might replace Bance as Conservative candidate in the Toronto-area battleground riding of Scarborough–Rouge Park.
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Bance was filmed during an episode of CBC-TV's investigative series Marketplace. He is seen peeing into a coffee cup before dumping its contents into the sink he was supposed to be fixing.
A service technician for the last 25 years, he had been called to the home as part of a sting operation to catch and confront repairmen overcharging homeowners for simple repairs to home appliances. Hidden cameras captured the incident, which occurred while a Marketplace producer posing as a homeowner was in the next room.
Bance had also run as a Conservative in 2006 and 2008. Jason Kenney, the high-profile Conservative minister and candidate from Alberta, helped him kick off his current campaign last week.
The original Marketplace episode had referred to Bance — who owns and operates XPress Appliance Service, an appliance repair company in the Greater Toronto Area — only as "Jerry." A tip received by CBC News late Sunday night pointed out Jerry is Bance.
The Tories' split with Bance was followed just hours later by news that the party had dropped another Toronto candidate, Tim Dutaud, after YouTube videos surfaced of Dutaud making prank phone calls that included derogatory comments about people with disabilities.
Speaking during a campaign stop in Toronto Monday afternoon, Conservative Leader Stephen Harper faced questions from media about both candidates but offered little in response.
"What this says is that we keep the highest standards for candidates and that these two individuals are no longer candidates," he said.
In a statement released Sunday evening, Bance said "the footage from that day does not reflect who I am as a professional or a person.
This must be someone who's adept at Stephen Harper's trickle-down theory of economics.- NDP Leader Tom Mulcair
"I deeply regret my actions on that day."
Response to the story on social media sites was nearly instantaneous. The hashtag "peegate" was soon trending on Twitter, as Twitter buzzed with disparaging jokes, comments and bad puns targeting Bance and the Conservative Party.
The Conservatives' political rivals took the opportunity to make a few jokes at Bance's expense.
"I guess that this was one mugshot that Canadians weren't expecting from the Conservatives," said NDP Leader Tom Mulcair.
Mulcair was speaking to reporters at the annual Labour Day parade in Toronto, where he's spending the day campaigning for the Oct. 19 vote.
"This must be someone who's adept at Stephen Harper's trickle-down theory of economics," Mulcair said smirking. "Any other questions?"
Speaking Monday evening at a campaign event in Summerside, P.E.I., Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said the incidents show Harper is out of touch and "didn't bother" to find out the past of two of his candidates.
"And he lost them today," Trudeau said of the candidates, before slipping in a barb to the local crowd over suspended Senator Mike Duffy's residency troubles.
"But really, is that something so surprising from a man who still believes Mike Duffy is a Prince Edward Islander?"
With files from the CBC's David Cochrane and The Canadian Press