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Okanagan NDP candidate resigns following controversial comments

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April 16, 2013 - 12:54 PM

The same day the election writ was dropped, the B.C. NDP has dropped its candidate for Kelowna-Mission.

Just hours after the B.C. Liberals demanded that Dayleen Van Ryswyk's resignation over controversial comments she made in the past about Natives and French Canadians, NDP leader Adrian Dix accepted her resignation.

"Earlier today, I was made aware of unacceptable comments made by Kelowna-Mission NDP candidate Dayleen Van Ryswyk," Dix said in a release. "I have accepted Ms. Van Ryswyk’s resignation. A new B.C. NDP candidate will be announced shortly."

The Liberals appeared to have found her identity on the Castanet forums where posters ostensibly do so anonymously. Her resignation appears to corroborate the allegations.

Among the comments attributed to Van Ryswyk, under the name "Dayleen" was this about French Canadians: "“Seems the only group of people universally hated around the world other than the Americans are the french and FRENCH CANADIANS…the bigots are the french and not us….” (sic)"

And this one about Natives: "If their ancestors sold out too cheap it’s not my fault and I shouldn’t have to be paying for any mistake or whatever you want to call it from MY hard earned money.”

Van Ryswyk did not respond to calls for comment. Tish Lakes, a former NDP candidate and now spokesperson for the riding association, said Van Ryswyk is taking some time off.

"I understand that. From my own experience, whatever else you were doing, when you are in the spotlight people can't really anticipate what may come," she said.

The party hasn't yet chosen another candidate, but Lakes said she would be willing to accept that responsibility if needed.

"We are still sorting that out. The candidate has resigned but we are just sorting out next steps," she says. "I was a previous candidate. There are some other good people too so I don't want to preclude that."

To contact a reporter for this story, email or phone (250) 718-2724.


News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013
InfoTel News Ltd

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