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Former N.S. Liberal candidate apologizes for Down syndrome tweet that ousted him from race

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A man running in the upcoming provincial election has been removed as a candidate in his party after Global’s Steve Silva asked about one of the candidate’s tweets – May 8, 2017

A former Nova Scotia Liberal candidate apologized on Tuesday for the Down syndrome tweets that caused him to be removed from his campaign in the Pictou East riding.

Matt MacKnight was only removed from the campaign last night after Global News questioned the Liberal Party on a tweet MacKnight had made about Down syndrome.

In an emailed statement, MacKnight wrote that he has matured since the tweets were posted four years ago.

“I take full responsibility for my comments, as they were entirely unnecessary,” the statement reads. “My understanding of how hurtful these words can be has changed over the years. I’ve learned the damage that can be caused by comments such as this.”

READ MORE: Nova Scotia Liberal candidate removed for Down syndrome tweet

MacKnight also apologized to party leader Stephen McNeil and the Down Syndrome Society of Canada.

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The tweet from MacKnight reads: “Phone rings: ‘what time does the other source [sic] store close at today?’ seriously a**hole? Call them not me! #downsydrome [sic] #stupidcustomers.”

MacKnight wrote that he will not be commenting further on the matter and has asked for privacy for himself and his family.

The apology caps off a tumultuous 24-hour period for the Liberal campaign.

Macknight’s ouster was quickly followed by the resignation of Kyley Harris, the director of communications for the Liberal’s central campaign in Nova Scotia.

Harris, a former spokesperson for the premier, was given a conditional discharge in May 2015 on an assault charge.

At the time, the court heard that Harris struck a woman in the face during a domestic argument on May 9, 2014.

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