Zi-Ann Lum, Huffington Post, January 16, 2019
A B.C. daycare operator will no longer represent the Liberal Party in the upcoming Burnaby South byelection after she goaded constituents to vote for her on the basis of ethnicity.
StarMetro Vancouver broke the news Tuesday about a posting then-Liberal candidate Karen Wang shared on WeChat to Chinese voters about her rival, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.
“My opponent in this byelection is the NDP candidate Singh of Indian descent!” reads a translation of the now-deleted post.
The Liberal Party confirmed in a statement Wednesday that Wang has stepped down.
“Recent online comments by Karen Wang are not aligned with the values of the Liberal Party of Canada. The Liberal Party has accepted her resignation as the Liberal candidate in the Burnaby South by-election,” the statement reads.
Wang released a statement conceding that her words weren’t “well-considered.” Noting her pride in calling Burnaby South home for the past two decades, she credited the “diverse character” of the riding as a “real source of strength” that “enriches all of us as Canadians.”
She explained while she was trying to connect with constituents about the value of diversity, she “made comments online that also referenced Jagmeet Singh’s cultural background.”
Despite her racial comment, Wang maintained she still holds Singh in a high regard.
The Liberals faced pressure to drop Wang as a candidate immediately after the report was released, notably from Conservative MP Michelle Rempel.
The Liberal candidate’s resignation is a surprising twist in a high-stakes byelection race for Singh, who does not have a seat in the House of Commons.
If people weren’t aware of the byelection campaign in Burnaby South, then Wang’s resignation as the Liberal candidate may have brought new attention to the race. It’s a bit of a déjà vu moment for Singh, who was confronted by a racist heckler in September 2017, while vying for the NDP leadership.