Photos of Tony Harris dressed as Donald Trump, shared on Harris’s Instagram account three years ago.

B.C. byelection candidate called out for once wearing a Trump hat

NDP MLA shares 2016 photo of Liberal candidate in ‘Make America Great Again’ ball cap

A provincial byelection candidate is being criticized for a fashion faux pas from three years ago.

Tony Harris, the B.C. Liberal candidate for Nanaimo, once dressed as Donald Trump in order to lampoon the now-President of the U.S.A., and since Harris was announced as the Liberals’ intended candidate, the Instagram photos have been continually shared via social media.

Harris said the photos were taken on a ski trip in the Rockies in 2016, a few months before Trump became the Republican nominee for president.

“My group of friends and I, just like Saturday Night Live and everybody else was doing at the time, we just thought we’d have some fun with it and make fun of Donald Trump,” Harris said.

This past Wednesday, the day the byelection was called, Ravi Kahlon, NDP MLA for Delta North, shared on Facebook one of the photos of Harris in a ‘Make America Great Again’ hat with the comments, “I’m not sure if Mr. Harris likes Trump or thought this was a joke but what he should realize is that this has become the symbol of hate and racism” and added that wearing the hat “shows a lack of judgment.”

Harris said he’s not a Trump supporter and “Trump’s politics certainly aren’t mine.” He suggested any politician under 40 probably has some social media posts that can be taken out of context.

“What the NDP are doing right now is a key reason that young people avoid politics altogether, because of the personal slandering and stuff like that,” he said.

Harris said he thinks voters recognize the photos were a joke.

“They see that I have a sense of humour and that I’m a real guy and I think that people want to have real people in politics,” he said. “I have a sense of humour; I like to have fun … If we lose our sense of humour then we have to look in the mirror.”

Harris said he and his party will “stay focused on what really matters, which are the issues of Nanaimo.”

Kahlon indicated he will be in Nanaimo to knock on doors for Sheila Malcolmson, NDP candidate. Malcolmson said that the photos of Harris as Trump are “not part of our campaign” or any kind of consideration.

“It’s a whole new world on social media. Traditionally, parties vet their candidates’ social media and there’s a bit of a clean-up exercise, but you know, we’re all learning,” Malcolmson said. “It’s certainly not front of mind for me or my campaign. It really shouldn’t take up any air space.”

The Nanaimo byelection is Jan. 30.

RELATED: Nanaimo byelection to be held Jan. 30

RELATED: MP Malcolmson to try for MLA seat in Nanaimo

RELATED: Tony Harris tabbed to represent B.C. Liberal Party in Nanaimo byelection

RELATED: B.C. Green Party members in Nanaimo vote yea for Ney

-with files from Karl Yu/The News Bulletin



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Paramedics union raises alarm over spike in out-of-service ambulances

Staffing shortages affecting service levels in Kootenays

West Kootenay rod and gun clubs slammed for animal-killing contests

Wildlife activists are targeting the club and two other B.C. organizations

Interior Health hospitals to serve more made in B.C. food

New initiative by the Ministry of Agriculture to serve more B.C. produced food in hospitals

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

Robo Sushi in Toronto has waist-high robots that guide patrons to empty seats

Permit rejected to bring two cheetahs to B.C.

Earl Pfeifer owns two cheetahs, one of which escaped in December 2015

Real-life tsunami threat in Port Alberni prompts evacuation updates

UBC study says some people didn’t recognize the emergency signal

Care providers call for B.C. seniors’ watchdog to step down

The association also asks the province to conduct an audit and review of the mandate of her office

Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from B.C. roaster recalled due to botulism scare

“If you purchased N7 Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from Cherry Hill … do not drink it.”

B.C. man gets award for thwarting theft, sexual assault – all in 10 minutes

Karl Dey helped the VPD take down a violent sex offender

Baby left alone in vehicle in B.C. Walmart parking lot

Williams Lake RCMP issue warning after attending complaint at Walmart Wednesday

College of the Rockies to add 96 beds for student housing in Cranbrook

$17.7 million project featuring six cottege-style buildings to be completed by 2020

Nowhere to grieve: How homeless people deal with loss during the opioid crisis

Abbotsford homeless advocate says grief has distinct challenges for those living on the streets

Most Read