CALGARY – The Alberta Party candidate in Calgary-Glenmore resigned from the party on Monday afternoon, for what he described as an “inappropriate” joke he posted online.
The joke, tweeted by account @adamyorkii, involves a priest, rabbi, and a little boy, and has been criticized for being offensive to both Catholic and Jewish religions. The Twitter account appears to have been created for the sole purpose of drawing attention to Lo’s post, which was reportedly in response to a Facebook status asking people to share the most offensive jokes they’ve ever heard.
In a Monday Facebook post, Terry Lo said he offered his “apologies to the community” for posting a joke months ago; he called it an error in judgment and said no offence was intended.
The former candidate posted his full resignation letter to Facebook, saying his joke didn’t reflect his own or the Alberta Party’s values regarding intolerance.
“Although no harm was intended nor any desire to offend any ethnic or religious group existed, I apologize for any embarrassment a joke I unwittingly posted may have caused the Alberta Party and its leader,” he wrote.
Lo said he’s fought to support rights for all, especially LBGTQ rights, but said his error in judgment in posting the joke would “serve only as a distraction from the issue at hand, namely providing a real and sustainable future for Albertans.”
“As such, I feel it most appropriate that the Alberta Party accept my resignation as their candidate to prevent any detriment my actions may possibly have on their success.”
Lo’s name will still appear on ballots tomorrow, since provincial regulations don’t allow candidates to drop out less than 48 hours before an election. But he won’t represent the Alberta Party moving forward.
“Alberta Party Calgary-Glenmore candidate Terry Lo made an offensive joke on Facebook,” said party leader Greg Clark in a statement. “No matter what context this joke was made in, it is unacceptable to me and to all Albertans. I have accepted Mr. Lo’s resignation.”
Clark’s spokesperson told Global News Lo will not be accepted back into the Alberta Party regardless of the outcome of the election.
FULL COVERAGE: Alberta election 2015
Lo previously made headlines last November, when he quit his post as a constituency vice-president with the Wildrose Party over its refusal to pass a definitive statement on equal rights.
At that time, Lo wrote in a letter that as an “Asian, atheist parent of a gay son, he can’t in good conscience stay with the party.” Party members voted against adopting as policy a statement supported by Leader Danielle Smith that affirmed the rights of everyone regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation and other differences. Instead, members voted to go with a broader policy to recognize that all Albertans have equal rights, privileges and responsibilities.
With files from Sarah Offin