June 16th, 2024

Beasley stands by comments

By Gillian Slade on July 17, 2018.

NEWS PHOTO
A portion of the letter sent by the United Conservative Party to Todd Beasley. The full letter and additional correspondence can be read below.


gslade@medicinehatnews.com 
@MHNGillianSlade

Two comments that Todd Beasley made on May 23, 2017, on a Geert Wilders supporters Facebook page, has brought an end to his bid to be the next United Conservative Party candidate in the Brooks-Medicine Hat riding.

“… Muslims i.e. Fools who are really worshiping Satan,” reads Beasley’s first post in part.

“… Islam is not a religion of peace. It’s cruel, revolting, racist, oppressive and has no legitimate basis,” reads part of another.

The UCP became aware of the posts last week and it led to Beasley being asked to withdraw from the race.

He claims the posts have been isolated from the context in which he originally posted his remarks.

“There was a holy man on temple mountain in Israel that called for the slaughter of Christians and Jews and I was not even remotely happy with that and I said words that I stand behind and I think any reasonable person would,” Beasley told the News on Monday. “What it comes down to is I took great offence to a supposed holy man calling for the slaughter of innocents and in that context I said some harsh words.”

Beasley says he told party officials of the posts several weeks before declaring his intentions for a UCP candidacy, but did not provide copies.

“I don’t have those posts. They were gone. … I said to them if this is a hanging offence I’m not going to put my hat into the ring,” he said, claiming party officials were told three times verbally and once in writing.

The posts were discovered last week by the UCP as part of its vetting process.

“Our researchers discovered these … and obviously ultimately led to them being sent to Mr. Beasley on Wednesday and informed him these were comments that were unacceptable for a potential conservative candidate,” said Jeff Henwood, UCP director of political operations..

The posts were not discovered earlier because the full vetting procedure is prioritized based on when the vote takes place, said Henwood.

Henwood remembers Beasley telling him many weeks ago that he’d made harsh statements about Islam.

“I said … ‘If you think it is going to be problematic then you should probably not pursue, if you think it’s not a big deal then you should proceed.’ He obviously felt it was not a big deal and I think most people would disagree with that assessment,” said Henwood.

Bill Dearborn, a board member of the local constituency association, announced Monday he was resigning his position in protest.

“He (Beasley) was interviewed and vetted three times on the posting of the Muslim thing and now they bring it out at the last minute because they know he’s going to win and it doesn’t fit some of their echelons in the upper party,” said Dearborn, who admitted he had not actually seen the posts.

After the posts were read to him in full, Dearborn had not changed his position.

“Well it’s totally truthful and that’s what it is. No politician has the guts to stand up and say it,” said Dearborn. “There is freedom of speech in this country.”

Beasley feels the UCP’s decision was made at this late stage in the process because he was likely to win the vote.

“I’d out sold my competitors (in) memberships by at least two to two-and-a-half times. I most certainly dominated the debates … I think they realized all of a sudden that I was going to win.”

“That has nothing to do with it,” said Henwood. “His comments are the reason for this happening and nothing else. His comments are unacceptable.”

One of the other candidates, Michaela Glasgo, had secured public endorsement from a number of politicians.

“If was pretty clear that’s who they wanted as their successful nominee,” Beasley claimed.

Henwood does not believe the situation with Beasley overshadows the voting process taking place in Brooks on Monday and Medicine Hat on Tuesday.

“We’ve got two excellent candidates (Glasgo and Dinah Hiebert) that are on the ballot for our voters to choose from,” said Henwood.

The full vetting process includes a criminal background check, vulnerable sector check and credit checks, and what people have posted on social media, said Henwood. It did not come to light earlier because there are a limited number of staff handling all the applications for 87 ridings.

Henwood said Beasley appealed the party’s decision and it went to the party board.

“The party board unanimously rejected that appeal and he was informed of that, and he issued a statement on Saturday indicating he would withdraw from the race,” said Henwood.

“It is extremely disappointing to me,” said Beasley, reflecting on the effort put into his campaign.

UCP-Beasley correspondence July 14 by MedicineHatNews on Scribd

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