Canada Doug Ford resists pressure to remove Tanya Granic Allen from Mississauga nomination fight

04:06  11 april  2018
04:06  11 april  2018 Source:   Toronto Star

Doug Ford distances himself from former leadership rival Tanya Granic Allen over tweets on Muslims, gays

  Doug Ford distances himself from former leadership rival Tanya Granic Allen over tweets on Muslims, gays Doug Ford distances himself from former leadership rival Tanya Granic Allen over tweets on Muslims, gays“These comments do not reflect the position of Ontario PC Leader Doug Ford or the party,” the leader’s office said Monday in a statement to the Star.

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Progressive Conservative leadership candidates Tanya Granic Allen and Doug Ford talk after the PC leadership candidates debate at TVO studios in Toronto on February 15, 2018.© Vince Talotta Progressive Conservative leadership candidates Tanya Granic Allen and Doug Ford talk after the PC leadership candidates debate at TVO studios in Toronto on February 15, 2018.

PC Leader Doug Ford is resisting pressure to bar former leadership contender Tanya Granic Allen from seeking the party’s nomination in Mississauga Centre over controversial social media posts about Muslims and gays.

The comments, first revealed in the Star, compared women in burkas to “bank robbers” and “ninjas” and questioned gay marriage, now legal in Ontario.

Those remarks prompted rival parties and a Muslim clergyman to call on Ford to disqualify Granic Allen from the April 21 nomination race, whose winner will carry the Progressive Conservative banner in the June 7 provincial election.

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“It’s pretty disappointing to see somebody seeking public office who has those kinds of attitudes that can be described as racist and homophobic,” NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said Tuesday.

“The Conservatives will have to decide...how they will go forward,” Premier Kathleen Wynne told reporters at a west-end school. “But that kind of behaviour, that kind of language, that kind of attitude, I believe has no place in our society.”

Ford, who enjoyed support from social conservative Granic Allen’s backers after she was knocked out of the March 10 leadership race, again distanced himself from her but stopped short of taking further action.

“The Ontario PC Party is an inclusive party. These statements are not reflective of what we stand for or how we will govern this province,” he said in a statement.

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TheRecord.com - 11 Mar 2018 Ontario PC leadership candidate Doug Ford speaks as candidates Tanya Granic Allen , left, Caroline Mulroney and Christine But Tanya Granic Allen acknowledged Thursday that she first needs at least 100 party members to sign her nomination papers and

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“Our base is growing, and we want all Ontarians to feel like they have a place in our party.”

Granic Allen passed the party’s vetting process for candidates during the leadership race to replace ousted leader Patrick Brown.

She did not reply Tuesday to requests for an interview with the Star but told Canadian Press her comments, made in 2013 and 2014, do not reflect an anti-Muslim or anti-gay attitude.

“My concern....has always been about the freedom of religion, the freedom of conscience and freedom of expression and protecting those very important rights,” she said, declining to comment on whether she supports gay marriage.

“It has nothing to do with this election.”

The imam at the Dar Al-Tawheed mosque in central Mississauga said concern about Granic Allen’s social media posts has been percolating in the Muslim community, leaving the Progressive Conservatives in a difficult spot.

“They have to address the situation,” he urged.

“You can’t hold public office and then on the other hand be vilifying the people you’re supposed to be serving.”

A party source described the nomination race in Mississauga Centre as “tight.” Granic Allen initially declined to talk about her social media posts at length on Friday, saying that day was the cut-off for selling party memberships crucial to securing enough support to win the nomination.

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