Ontario PCs allege NDP candidate shared Hitler quote on social media

‘Unacceptable’: Ford responds to meme on NDP candidate’s Facebook page
WATCH ABOVE: Ford responds to meme on NDP candidate's Facebook page

Doug Ford’s Ontario Progressive Conservatives claim that a Toronto NDP candidate praised Adolph Hitler on social media and that leader Andrea Horwath is ignoring anti-Semitism in her party.

During a press conference Friday, PC candidates Todd Smith and Gila Martow alleged that Scarborough-Agincourt NDP candidate Tasleem Riaz shared pro-Nazi memes on Facebook, including a post from 2013 that show Hitler saluting with the quote: “If you don’t like a Rule … Just Follow it … Reach on the Top … and Change the Rule.”

NDP candidate Taleem Riaz’s Facebook post from 2013. (Handout)
NDP candidate Taleem Riaz’s Facebook post from 2013. (Handout).

“We all know that you don’t post this kind of thing by accident. You don’t post Nazi messages on social media by mistake,” Martow said. “It goes without saying that having Ms. Riaz on the ballot is offensive to every Jewish person in Ontario and it’s offensive to every race and nationality who were murdered by Ms. Riaz’s apparent hero.”

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Riza said in a statement Friday that she was “horrified” by the Facebook and doesn’t recall sharing the post in 2013.

“At no point in my life would I have done so intentionally,” Riaz said in a statement. “I work closely with the Jewish, Hindu, Christian, Sikh and Muslim communities in my neighbourhood. In every way, I find Hitler, the hate he spewed, and the genocide he committed to be abhorrent.

“I live and work, day to day, to advocate for all people to love and respect others of all faiths. I can’t understand how this happened, and I’m devastated that it has.”

Global News was not able to independently verify the post.

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The accusations from the PCs come one day after the Liberals released audio of Doug Ford seemingly attempting to sell bogus party memberships. Ford did not deny the authenticity of the recording but dismissed the Liberals’ claims as an attempt to “change the channel” ahead of the June 7 election.

WATCH: Doug Ford calls NDP’s candidates, platform ‘radical’

Doug Ford calls NDP’s candidates, platform ‘radical’
Doug Ford calls NDP’s candidates, platform ‘radical’

Meanwhile, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said her staff will look into the allegations against Riaz.

“It’s upsetting to see that kind of accusation being made,” Horwath told reporters Friday. “But let me be pretty clear about our candidate: I’ve known Tasleem for some time now; this woman is an activist in the interfaith community.”

WATCH: Horwath responds to NPD candidate allegedly sharing Hitler quote online 

Horwath responds to NPD candidate allegedly sharing Hitler quote online
Horwath responds to NPD candidate allegedly sharing Hitler quote online

Ford attributes the accusations brought forward by the Liberals yesterday to a desperate attempt by the governing party to hang onto office in the June 7 election.

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Smith and Martow have also highlighted the Scarborough-Agincourt NDP candidate’s past comments from 2011 where she appeared to accuse the Canadian Armed Forces of committing war crimes, referring to the mission in Afghanistan as a “slaughtering machine.”

READ MORE: Audio recording captures Doug Ford offering to buy PC memberships, Liberals say

“I’m sorry Ms. Riaz, our troops are not war criminals. They’re heroes in the eyes of most Ontarians,” Smith said.

The allegations from the PCs come as recent polls show the NDP are surging in the provincial election campaign with one poll showing Horwath on the way to forming the next Ontario government.

*With files from Nick Westoll