Following allegations of Islamophobic tweets, Beaches — East York Conservative candidate Lisa Robinson was asked to step down from her candidacy by the Conservative Party of Canada.
“Racism and Islamophobia have no place in the Conservative Party of Canada,” CPC spokeswoman Chelsea Tucker said in an email to The Star. “Our expectation is that all of our candidates will conduct themselves in a respectful and tolerant manner. We subsequently fired this person as a candidate.
Robinson cannot be removed from the ballot so close to the Sept. 20 election, but would be denied a spot in the Conservative caucus if she wins.
In un tweet Robinson’s opponent and incumbent Constituency MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith posted screenshots of tweets from 2017 when Robinson was running for Ward 1 in Ajax city council on Friday morning. The tweets show an account with Robinson’s photo for a poster photo with the name “Ward 1 Councilor, candidate” writing that Muslims should “go home.”
The screenshots also show the account retweeting Australian far-right extremist Blair Cottrell lamenting “society” reacting in a “female” way to terrorism. Another retweet concerns an account asking parents in Durham Region to “demand an end to this mind-blowing s—” as part of referral training on LGBTQ inclusion.
Robinson, who will remain on the ballot, denied being the author of the tweets.
“This account is fake and in 2018 I reported it to Durham Police. I will sign a certificate confirming these facts, ”Robinson replied. “Sharing this false information is defamatory and should be removed immediately. Otherwise, you will receive a defamation notice shortly.
The Star contacted Robinson’s campaign to ask for proof of the filing of the police report. The campaign declined to comment on the matter. The Durham Regional Police Service did not respond to a request for comment.
According to her campaign website, Robinson is an “expert in real estate negotiation and a senior real estate specialist.” She has worked in real estate for over 20 years.
Robinson recently graduated as a paralegal with distinction and became a member of the Bar of Ontario, according to her website, and was appointed a notary.
Erskine-Smith told The Star in an interview on Friday that he contacted Robinson directly through Twitter DM after she denied writing the tweets to verify that she was the author.
“I obviously don’t want to share any incorrect information, so I asked her if she had reported the account on Twitter at any time,” he said. “She said no, due to a lack of computer skills. She told me that eventually, with help, she had (the account) deleted.
Erskine-Smith said he obtained the screenshots he posted of a campaign staff member, who he said took them before 2018.
“She also posted, on her current Twitter account, conspiracy theories around the Dominion voting system. «
Erskine-Smith said he shared the screenshots because he found the writing “unacceptable”.
“Retweeting a famous neo-Nazi and suggesting that Muslims should leave the country is obviously offensive,” he said.
Mustafa Farooq, CEO of the National Council of Canadian Muslims, told The Star his organization planned to call for Robinson’s withdrawal from the election ahead of the CCP’s announcement.
“If she posted these tweets, there is no world where she shouldn’t resign or be removed,” Farooq said.
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