'Very sorry': Liberal candidate under fire for online comments about women
Published Wednesday, March 2, 2016 3:27PM CST
Last Updated Monday, March 14, 2016 3:28PM CST
A Liberal candidate is coming under fire for comments he made on social media about women.
On Wednesday, NDP Health Minister Sharon Blady took aim at posts made by Jamie Hall, the Liberal candidate for Southdale.
"He refers to women as whores and skanks, among other terms,” she said. “I don't know if there is ever an appropriate context for the use of those words."
Blady called on either Hall to step down, or the Liberal party to remove him.
"Anything we say as elected officials, or those seeking office, say on social media, is a reflection not only of our personal values and beliefs, but also stands as a reflection of our parties beliefs," said Blady.
She also said Hall’s nomination calls into question the judgement of the Liberal party and their leader, Rana Bokhari.
“All parties have a vetting process, and this should have come up on their radar.”
In a media scrum on Wednesday, Hall apologized for the comments, saying they came from a period when he was promoting a fictional novel he had written.
"The book was written from 2009 released in 2012, and promotion went until about 2013," he said. The character in the book has a hard time in the dating world, and is trying to find the right woman, he said.
"There is a lot of varied content in there. It is a racy book absolutely."
"(The tweets) did come from my account, though, so that is not an excuse. I am very apologetic for it," he said.
At the time of the scrum, Hall said he would not take tweets down, adding he’s a sarcastic person and to take them down would be disingenuous.
However, after making these comments Wednesday afternoon, Hall's Twitter account had been taken down.
Hall said he has considered stepping down, but hasn’t made a decision. Liberal Leader Rana Bokhari has not commented on the issue, but a Liberal spokesperson said “everything is on the table.”
Hall's girlfriend stood at his side as he addressed the media.
"I love my girlfriend. I have a very strong, very independent, girlfriend. I have many women in my life, many women who have worked for me and are working on my campaign with me and I'm just, I'm very sorry."
Blady also took aim at Scott Newman, Liberal candidate for Radisson, for not backing the government’s plans to increase protection for women.
"He stands against our legislation that we protect victims of domestic violence and we keep firearms out of the hands of those with a protection order."
Blady said anything Hall or Newman try to do to make amends would be “too little too late.”
"They should either have the decency to step down, or their leader should frankly remove them,” she said.
What about Wab?
Blady was questioned, however, about NDP Fort Rouge candidate Wab Kinew.
In Kinew’s past as part of a rap group, he used mysogynistic lyrics about whores and bitches. Blady said she believes there's a big difference when it comes to Kinew because he's "taken ownership" of his past.
"He's indicated that it is part of a growth process that is familiar to many young, angry, men; especially someone that has come up through the circumstances that he and many other indigenous youth have," said Blady.
"What I find actually empowering about that is it shows you can have growth and then frankly I stand beside Wab wholeheartedly because through that growth, and through those things, he came out on the right side of things and he is a very strong feminist male."
On Wednesday, Kinew tweeted several posts about his past saying, "There's a role for men like me to play (and) that is to let other men know misogyny is not acceptable (and) help make the public sphere safe."
He also pointed to a printed apology for the lyrics in his book, "Reason You Walk."
The passage reads: "I would also like to apologize for misogynistic rap lyrics I have written or performed in the past. At the time I thought it was funny or had shock value.'”
Big picture I believe women should be leading the conversation about ending gender based discrimination & violence in our society— Wab Kinew (@WabKinew) March 2, 2016
But there's a role for men like me to play & that is to let other men know misogyny is not acceptable & help make the public sphere safe— Wab Kinew (@WabKinew) March 2, 2016
- With files from Michelle Gerwing