The United Conservative Party candidate for Calgary-Mountain View riding has resigned following the release of private messages from two years ago when she talked about a double standard for white supremacist terrorists.
PressProgress reported the Facebook Messenger conversation between Caylan Ford and its source happened on Aug. 15, 2017, in the wake of the deadly riots in Charlottesville, Va.
The report describes the source as a longtime Muslim conservative with deep ties in the party.
CBC News has not independently verified the authenticity of the messages between Ford and its source, wh was granted anonymity by PressProgress.
In a Facebook post, Ford does not dispute their authenticity, but said the comments published by PressProgress are distortions and do not reflect her views.
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In the exchange, Ford is reported to have lamented that white supremacist terrorists face a double standard compared to Islamic terrorists.
“When the perpetrator is an Islamist, the denunciations are intermingled with breathless assurances that they do not represent Islam, that Islam is a religion of peace, etc.,” Ford wrote.
“When the terrorists are white supremacists, that kind of soul-searching or attempts to understand the sources of their radicalization or their perverse moral reasoning is beyond the pale.”
Later in the exchange, Ford said: “I am somehow saddened by the demographic replacement of white peoples in their homelands.
“It’s clear that it will not be a peaceful transition,” she said.
Late Monday night, after PressProgress published its story about the messages, Ford announced on her Facebook page that she is giving up her bid for a seat in the Alberta Legislature.
“To avoid becoming a distraction in this campaign, I have decided to resign as the United Conservative candidate in Calgary-Mountain View,” she said.
Ford said she strongly denounces extremism and violence, and stands with marginalized communities everywhere.
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“It is disappointing that PressProgress would collude with a man who, for over a year, has waged an obsessive campaign of intimidation, harassment and defamation against me,” Ford added.
“By working with [this] source, PressProgress has shown itself to be utterly without regard for truth or decency.”
PressProgress is affiliated with the Broadbent Institute and bills itself as a progressive news organization.
Mount Royal University political scientist Duane Bratt said Ford likely didn’t make the decision alone.
“She says that her statements were taken out of context … I have no doubt that the UCP brass have urged her to resign,” he said.
UCP Leader Jason Kenney appeared with Ford in a video on her Facebook page last month that touted her as a “remarkable” candidate.
“You are what I call the personification of the new generation of leadership,” he said in the video.
The party’s star candidate, whose resume boasts a master’s degree from Oxford, also got a boost last week with a visit to her campaign office from Laureen Harper, the wife of former prime minister Stephen Harper.
Ford’s resignation is the latest in a series of damaging news stories for the UCP.
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On the weekend, CBC News obtained leaked internal documents that the leadership campaign of Jason Kenney collaborated with fellow candidate Jeff Callaway’s campaign during the party’s 2017 leadership race in an effort to hurt Brian Jean’s candidacy.
Last week, it was revealed that Alberta’s Office of the Election Commissioner turned over to the RCMP its investigation into allegations of irregular political contributions to the Callaway campaign.
This story originally appeared on CBC