It turns out ejected Burnaby Conservative candidate Heather Leung will still be running for the party after all.
The Conservatives fired Leung, a Burnaby North—Seymour candidate, earlier this month after two videos surfaced of her making homophobic comments.
But when the votes are counted, ballots cast for Leung will still be tallied as votes for the Conservative Party, Elections Canada confirmed to Global News.
CANADA ELECTION: Burnaby North—Seymour
“According to the rules and Canada’s Election Act, Heather Leung has met all the requirements and will appear on the federal election ballot as the Conservative Party of Canada candidate for Burnaby North—Seymour,” said Leung’s campaign in a statement.
“Ms. Leung’s vote total will be counted along with that of the Conservative Party of Canada, and should she win the seat, her victory will be included with the Conservative Party of Canada seat total.”
Elections Canada confirmed Leung’s statement.
“Each candidate elected will be credited to the party that they are affiliated with on the ballot,” said the agency in a statement.
“Following the election, it is up to the parties to determine the status of their elected candidates. Elections Canada is not involved in that process.”
The development is the latest bizarre twist in Leung’s campaign.
After being dumped by the party, Leung issued a press release saying she would be running “independently” and would support a Conservative government “on motions of supply or confidence.”
But the party has made clear that Leung will not receive any of its support. If she is elected on Oct. 21, she will not be part of the Conservative caucus, it said.
Elections Canada previously confirmed it was too late to have the Conservative designation removed from her name on the ballot.
Leung has also refused to stop putting up campaign signs that list her as a Conservative candidate, despite the party saying she was not allowed to use its name or logo.
Leung was dropped amid controversy over a pair of videos in which she made offensive comments about LGBTQ2 people.
In one video, captured by Burnaby Now at a protest over an LGBTQ2-friendly Burnaby school board party, Leung told the reporter that anti-bullying initiatives were actually a cover to promote “homosexual, transexual, all kinds of homosexual acts” to students.
“Because these homosexual people, they cannot reproduce the next generation, they recruit more people and more people into their camp. So this is not fair, they are our children, not their children,” she said.
The Vancouver Sun reported on a second undated video in which Leung spoke favourably about conversion therapy and referred to LGBTQ2 people as living a “perverted lifestyle.”
In later comments to the media, Leung declined to apologize for the statements, which she said were simply misunderstood and lost in translation as English is her third language.
Leung is running against the NDP’s Svend Robinson, Liberal incumbent Terry Beech and the Greens’ Amita Kuttner. The People’s Party of Canada’s Rocky Dong, Libertarian Lewis Clarke Dahlby and Independent Robert Taylor are also running.