fbpx

Two Canadian Parliamentary Candidates Drop Out Following Antisemitic Social Media Posts

On September 12, FSWC highlighted January 29 and February 1 tweets from Sidney Coles, who was running as New Democratic Party (NDP) candidate in the Toronto-St. Paul area, implying that Israel was the reason for why millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses went missing.
[additional-authors]
September 15, 2021
Canada’s Parliament Building (Photo by Danielle Donders / Getty Images)

Two Canadian parliamentary candidates have dropped out of their respective races after the Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) exposed their past social media posts.

On September 12, FSWC highlighted January 29 and February 1 tweets from Sidney Coles, who was running as New Democratic Party (NDP) candidate in the Toronto-St. Paul area, implying that Israel was the reason for why millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses went missing.

“Coles’ comments are particularly concerning given the global rise in antisemitism – including ongoing efforts to blame Israel & Jewish people for creating, exploiting or worsening the coronavirus pandemic – & escalating incidences of Jew-hate in her Toronto-St. Paul’s riding,” FSWC tweeted.

Jamie Kirzner-Roberts, FSWC Director of Policy, also tweeted a screenshot from Dan Osborne, an NDP candidate running in Nova Scotia, asking Oprah Winfrey: “Was Auschwitz a real place?”

Coles issued an apology on her Twitter account, which has since been deleted, acknowledging that the Israel-vaccine connection was “a common anti-Semitic trope” even though she didn’t intend it as such. “I should not have made this link and apologize and retract those statements,” she wrote, according to the CP24 television network. “I will continue to stand firmly against anti-Semitism, racism and discrimination in all its forms.”

Similarly, Osborne also issued an apology from his since-deleted Twitter account. “The role of Auschwitz and the history of the Holocaust is one we should never forget,” he wrote, according to The Toronto Sun. “Antisemitism should be confronted and stopped. I can’t recall posting that, I was 16 then and can honestly say I did not mean to cause any harm.”

George Soule, a spokesperson for NDP, told CP24 that both candidates have dropped out of their races and are working to learn more about antisemitism. “New Democrats stand united against discrimination of all kinds. We are committed to taking lasting and meaningful steps toward ending prejudice and hatred in all its forms.”

Kirzner-Roberts said in a statement, “We are relieved the candidates have stepped down and committed to participating in antisemitism education, and we thank NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh for his leadership in ensuring this outcome. Amid rising Jew-hatred in this country, all political parties and leaders must send a message, loud and clear, that antisemitism will not be tolerated in any shape or form.”

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) similarly tweeted, “Elected officials — and those vying for public office — must lead by example in our collective fight against hatred towards #Jews. It was right for Dan Osborne and Sidney Coles to resign …and it is appropriate that Coles and Osborne enroll in #antisemitism training so they can learn about the serious damage antisemitism does to the fabric of our society. All #Canadians of goodwill must work together to eradicate Jew hatred from #Canada.”

Did you enjoy this article?
You'll love our roundtable.

Editor's Picks

Latest Articles

More news and opinions than at a
Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.