Horwath continues to defend candidate that posted Hitler meme

Published on May 29, 2018

Refused to say whether she’d ever fire a candidate for saying offensive things

During the last debate, Andrea Horwath continued to defend her candidate, Tasleem Riaz, who is known for sharing a Adolf Hitler meme and calling Canadian soldiers war criminals.

If Andrea Horwath had even an ounce of leadership she would have unequivocally condemned this candidate.

The NDP have also defended a candidate who made offensive comments about the poppy, who have shilled bizarre conspiracy theories about 9/11, and called for the highest carbon tax in North America.

When pressed by the media about whether she would ever fire a candidate Horwath said she was “not going to project what might or might not happen in the course of the next 11 days.”

Instead of showing leadership, Ms. Horwath continues to describe these shocking revelations about her candidate as “slinging mud”, “dragging people down into the dirt” and “muckraking”. People of Ontario deserve to know the true character of the individuals on the ballot. The NDP is running a slate of radical candidates with shocking views. That’s not mudslinging, that's a fact.

The NDP like to pretend they’re standing up for Ontario workers, but in reality they cater to downtown Toronto radical special interests. The NDP are unready, offensive, and outside the mainstream.

If the leader of the NDP won’t unequivocally condemn these comments, she's clearly not read to govern.

Transcript from Andrea Horwath’s media avail after the debate:

Reporter: ...he brought up again some of your candidates calling them radical, he said one of them has been inspired by Hitler, obviously they're using this as a strategy, they're scouring the social media accounts of all your candidates. How much of a distraction is that to your campaign? Is it throwing you off message?

Horwath: Well you know he's trying his hardest to dig up Facebook posts and pieces that go back years and years, and I think what people need to get a sense of is what's happening today, right now, with Mr. Ford and his candidates, I mean there are three different police forces that are investigating different candidates of Mr. Ford's who may be using stolen information from the 407. I mean, this is identity theft happening here and yet, somehow Mr. Ford thinks that this is not anything that he needs to be responsible for, that he needs to answer to and instead he's digging back into years of Facebook posts, years back into Facebook posts of my candidates. At the end of the day, what Mr. Ford needs to do is come clean about what's happening with that data that was stolen from the 407. Come clean about what he intends to do with his six billion dollars of cuts and likely more. Show the people a platform, I mean, look, this is a guy who's a businessman. I mean there's no way that Mr. Ford is gonna sign a contract without the numbers filled in. There's no way that a guy like Mr. Ford would buy a used car and not look under the hood and yet that's exactly what he's asking Ontarians to do.

Reporter: Doug Ford fired Tanya Granic Allen as a candidate over something that was on YouTube from several years ago. What's it gonna take for you to actually fire a candidate of ... yeah, what's it gonna take?

Horwath: Well again, I believe very firmly that every time they've decided to use this tabloid mud slinging tactic, we've responded very clearly in terms of our candidates and their commitment to the values and the program that's set out in our platform and I'm gonna continue to do that. Again, if Mr. Ford's tactics or his plan for the next 11 days is to not give people a platform to look at, and instead just try to mud sling, I've got news for Mr. Ford, people who throw mud, who sling mud, often lose ground.

Reporter: What is your bar though to Mike's question? What is your bar for getting rid of a candidate, because you set the bar for other parties. You set the bar on Tanya Granic Allen and Patrick Brown...they should be booted. So what does it take for you to boot a candidate?

Horwath: I'm not going to project what might or might not happen in the course of the next 11 days. What I'm gonna do is what I've done for the last number of days, number of weeks even prior to the campaign starting, and that is to let the people of Ontario know, that there is a party that's gonna stay focused on them. That's not going to spend all my time slinging mud and dragging people down into the dirt and instead focus on the positive and the fact that we can have hope for the future. That's what I think people desire and all of this muckraking that's going on, I think is what makes people cynical about politics and what makes people wanna give up on even voting and you know what? I think that this time we can do things differently and have people vote for something for a change.