March 29, 2015 11:08 pm
Updated: March 30, 2015 7:53 pm

New Wildrose leader Brian Jean boots candidate Bill Jarvis over offensive comments


WATCH ABOVE: Wildrose Party candidate Bill Jarvis made an offensive remark during an event to name a new leader on Saturday night. Jarvis was overheard on the podium mic which was live at the time.

A Wildrose candidate has been booted after an offensive comment made during an event on Saturday.

Bill Jarvis, now former Wildrose candidate for Calgary-South East, can be heard saying “we need lots of brown people in the front” on a live microphone.

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Jarvis was on stage for a photo opportunity with other party members minutes before newly elected leader Brian Jean was about to address the crowd at the Calgary Sheraton Cavalier Hotel.

“You know the mic’s on, right?” asked another member, to which Jarvis replied, “Is the mic on? Ah, okay.”

The cringe-worthy gaffe was also caught by Global News cameras that were at the event.

READ MORE: Shocking upset in Alberta politics as Carrie Fischer beats Danielle Smith

Jarvis resigned from the party on Sunday.

“I recognize that my comments might have caused offence. That was certainly not my intent,” said Jarvis, in a Wildrose-issued statement issued Sunday evening.

“I have apologized to my friend Calgary-Fort candidate Jeevan Mangat and I apologize to Brian Jean and all Wildrose candidates.”

A statement from Wildrose leader Brian Jean read “The comment was disrespectful and while I accept that Mr. Jarvis did not intend to insult, I will not accept inappropriate statements that fail to show respect for all Albertans.”

Jean said he asked Jarvis to step down following the comment.

It comes at a time when the party is trying to move forward, after former Wildrose leader Danielle Smith crossed the floor to the Conservative party in December.

Smith lost her PC nomination bid in the Highwood riding to Carrie Fischer.

Asked Sunday if she was willing to speak with Global News about Saturday’s upset, she responded to Global National  reporter Vassy Kapelos in a brief text message: “No. I am leaving public life.”

A follow up message from Kapelos asked whether she had any future plans to run for office. Smith’s response: “P#ss off.” She later apologized, saying the comment was inappropriate and she wasn’t ready to speak with media.

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