May 17, 2017 11:42 am
Updated: May 19, 2017 2:47 pm

N.S. PC Leader Jamie Baillie defends Matt Whitman, ousts Jad Crnogorac

Each of Nova Scotia’s three major parties have had a candidate withdraw or resign as a result of social media posts made online. Marieke Walsh tells us more.

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Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie is walking a tight rope as he defends one candidate’s online posts while booting another candidate.

Jad Crnogorac was ousted from the Progressive Conservative Party on Tuesday for controversial posts making light of date rape and the killing of Eric Garner by police in the United States.

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Matt Whitman meantime is staying on as the party’s candidate. In March he posted a video of himself doing a Chinese fire drill, called racist at the time, and has also posted a picture of himself dressed up as a Mexican Trump.

Baillie told reporters Wednesday that any comparison of the two candidates would be like “comparing apples and oranges.”

“Mr. Whitman has proven that he didn’t have any deliberate intent to hurt people and he’s apologized for it and he’s moved on and so have we,” Baillie said.

In Crnogorac’s case Baillie said “something that not only includes sexual violence or making jokes about rape culture but also included numerous other posts that were close to the line if not over, the decision had to be made.”

Previously asked to remove photos

Another point of contention between Baillie and Crnogorac is the claim that the PCs had already vetted her social media account.

As proof Crnorgac provided Global News with a series of emails titled “This has to come down…” and a voicemail from Janet Fryday Dorey, co-chair of the PC campaign.

READ MORE: Dartmouth East NDP candidate resigns over controversial online content

In the both the emails and voicemail Crnogorac is asked to remove a photo from her personal Instagram page that depicts her wearing a leather jacket with nothing underneath.

“That’ll be a story for a storm that the campaign doesn’t need,” said Dorey in her voicemail. “It needs to come down as soon as possible.”

In the email exchange, Crnogorac admits that she understands why the photo could cause controversy but also pushes back against taking the photo down.

Crnogorac writes that Baillie has pushed for a more progressive party and that the photo is her embracing who she is.

“I feel that taking down this picture of myself would not reflect on that statement or movement,” she writes. ” I feel to take it down I am hiding who I am and my identity.”

READ MORE: All our Nova Scotia Election 2017 coverage

Although she did end up taking the photo, it was still picked up by regional news outlets.

‘It’s just not funny’

On Tuesday, Crnogorac told Global News that her joke about a date rape drug was taken out of context and she didn’t know the history of the words “I can’t breathe” when she used them to reference over eating.

Her posts were made in 2015 and 2016.

READ MORE: Halifax Coun. Matt Whitman calls ‘Chinese fire drill’ video a ‘distraction’

“I would absolutely love to apologize,” she said. “I didn’t mean to offend, I was never given the chance and I was never defended by my party.” She said her treatment is in start contrast to Whitman’s. He was allowed to explain himself, apologize, and stay on the slate.

“They have a double standard I was not given the same treatment that Matt Whitman was given,” she said. Whitman “didn’t mean anything malicious by it, just like I didn’t mean anything malicious by my tweets.”

On Tuesday, Baillie said no explanation from Crnogorac would make her comments okay.

“It doesn’t matter to me why, it’s just not funny it crosses a line that I don’t believe should be crossed and that’s why I made the decision I made.”

© 2017 Global News

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