Tory candidate to remain on ballot after transphobic comment resurfaces

Click to play video: 'Louis Berube staying on the ballot for N.B. PCs' Louis Berube staying on the ballot for N.B. PCs
WATCH: After the Liberals and PCs each fired a candidate for past comments on social media, one of Berube’s comments from 2016 came to light, but the PC leader is standing by his man. Silas Brown has more. – Sep 9, 2020

The New Brunswick Progressive Conservatives have decided to allow a candidate to continue to carry the party’s banner in the upcoming election, despite a transphobic quote resurfacing on social media.

Louis Bérubé, the PC candidate for Restigouche West, came under fire for a 2016 interview with Acadie Nouvelle.

“Could this be? Legislation to protect the transgendered (explicit). Really? I can’t get over it. Where we are heading? They’re disturbed (…) we have to pretend that it’s normal,” he told the paper.

Read more: All our New Brunswick election 2020 coverage

Wednesday morning, the PC campaign said Bérubé has since apologized for those comments and will remain on the ballot.

“Mr. Bérubé has assured our team that he is remorseful for what he said and that his views have since evolved,” the statement said.

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The Tories also defended their vetting process by saying Bérubé passed the federal Green Party’s screening when he represented the party in the 2019 federal election.

In the statement, New Brunswick PC Leader Blaine Higgs said the events of the last few days are “clearly indicative of bigger societal issues that can only be addressed by education.”

Click to play video: 'Vetting processes of N.B. major political parties under intense scrutiny' Vetting processes of N.B. major political parties under intense scrutiny
Vetting processes of N.B. major political parties under intense scrutiny – Sep 8, 2020

Bérubé is not the first candidate to have problematic comments resurface this election.

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On Monday afternoon, the Tories parted ways with Victoria-La Vallée candidate Roland Michaud, who reposted a transphobic meme on Facebook in December 2018.

Read more: N.B. Tory leader reviews candidate after transphobic Facebook re-post emerges

On Monday evening, the Liberals turfed Saint Croix candidate John Gardner over a series of offensive posts about the LGBTQ2 community.

The comments included one in which he suggested that LGBTQ2I+ communities should stop using the rainbow as a symbol because it is “offending the Christian and Jewish community… as it has a strong biblical significance.”

Gardner and Michaud are now running as independent candidates, while Bérubé remains with the PC party.

Read more: Saint Croix Liberal candidate John Gardner out of the race after anti-LGBTQ2I+ post leaks

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