September 7, 2011
On the first official day of the Ontario election campaign, the NDP has dropped its candidate in the Thornhill riding, saying Barry Weisleder's campaign forms fell short of the full disclosure the party requires.
In an interview with CBC.ca, NDP MPP Gilles Bisson (Timmins-James Bay) confirmed the party dropped Weisleder as a candidate.
In online postings, Weisleder has been critical of Canada’s support of Israel but Bisson said Weisleder’s political views were not a factor in the decision to drop him as a candidate.
"The disclosure form is to make sure candidates disclose things that may or may not be used against them in an election," said Bisson. "He did not accurately fill out his disclosure form, some of that information was not accurate and so we withdrew his nomination."
When asked what information was missing, Bisson said the contents of the disclosure form are confidential.
“That’s a personal matter,” said Bisson. “We’re not going to get into a conversation about what was or wasn’t in the document.”
An outspoken member of the NDP's social caucus, Weisleder has posted articles on socialist websites, including one that described Israel as “a death trap” for Jews.
“Instead of a haven for historically persecuted world Jewry, Israel is more and more evidently a death trap for the Jews there, millions of whom would rather be somewhere else,” he wrote on the Socialist Action website in a posting that appeared in December of last year.
Bisson said the decision to drop Weisleder had nothing to do with his political views.
“Every party goes through this, there’s nothing extraordinary about this,” he said.
“There are candidates in every party that represent different parts of the party and the different political spectrum.”
The NDP plan to nominate a new candidate in Thornhill at a meeting tentatively set for Sunday.