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Politics

Halifax-area PPC candidate under fire for Islamophobic tweets

WATCH: Anti-immigrant billboard taken down after backlash (August 26, 2019)

A Halifax-area People’s Party of Canada (PPC) candidate has come under fire for Islamophobic tweets saying Islam is “pure evil” and calling for the religion to be banned in Canada.

In several social media posts, Sybil Hogg, PPC candidate for Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook, said Islam is “not compatible with Canadian values of democracy,” that the religion “has no place in Canadian society” and that Islam “should be banned in Canada.”

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Hogg has not responded to repeated requests for comment. As of the time of publication, the tweets have not been deleted.

In a Facebook post Thursday afternoon, Hogg said she “failed to draw the distinction between ‘Islam’ the religion and ‘Islamism’ or ‘radical Islam.’”

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“While I have no problem with Muslims in Canada, I believe it is quite clear Islamism is not compatible with Canadian values,” she wrote. “My concern is and always has been radical Islam rather than Islam.”

PPC executive director Johanne Mennie stated in an email that the party has reached out to Hogg “to understand the context within which she expressed herself.”

Mennie did not say whether any further action would be taken against her.

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John Grant, who runs the Urban Halifax blog and exposed the Islamophobic tweets, says he was shocked when he read them.

“Some of them are just absolutely insane and completely off the deep end,” Grant told Global News in a phone interview. “To see a candidate in Halifax for the party say explicitly that Islam is a pure evil religion with no place in Canada, that’s a slap in the face to the 10,000 or so that live in Halifax.

“That is completely reprehensible and completely irresponsible.”

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Calls for PPC rally boycott

PPC Leader Maxime Bernier is set to hold a party event at the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel on Friday. Grant is hoping that drawing attention to the tweets will result in the hotel cancelling the event.

“I thought that people should know what this party stands for and what the candidate for this riding, in a riding in (and around) Sackville, has literally said multiple times,” Grant said.

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Hogg is one of five candidates running in the riding. Also running are Kevin Copley for the Conservatives, Anthony Edmonds for the Greens, Darrell Samson for the Liberals, and Matt Stickland for the NDP.

READ MORE: Riding profile for Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook

A counter-demonstration is being planned outside the Marriott by Halifax Against Hate, which calls itself an anti-fascist political group.

The Facebook event for the counter-demonstration says it will be non-violent and aimed at bringing awareness to the “racist, fascistic tendencies of the PPC” and to “make it toxic to whoever gives them a platform.”

The rally is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. It’s not clear whether Hogg will be in attendance at the PPC event, but in a recent tweet, she encouraged her followers to RSVP.

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The Marriott didn’t respond to a request for comment.

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