Ontario Liberal Party Drops Parry Sound-Muskoka Candidate

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Barry Stanley, an MPP candidate dropped by the Ontario Liberal Party for authoring a controversial book
Barry Stanley. Screenshot courtesy of Barry Stanley via Youtube

The Ontario Liberal Party dropped their candidate for Parry Sound-Muskoka on Wednesday after the party discovered he had authored a controversial and offensive book.

Barry Stanley, a retired teacher and Bracebridge resident, was selected by the Liberals to run for the seat of MPP Norm Miller, who announced last November that he would not seek reelection. The Toronto Star published an article on May 11 about a book Stanley authored on rebreathing, where infants breathe in their own exhaled air. Without providing evidence, Stanley claims in the book that homosexuality “may also be caused by depleted rebreathing occurring shortly after birth… it is related to how the brain has developed.” In response, the Ontario NDP released a statement calling on the liberal party to fire Stanley.

“This writing is hurtful to the entire 2SLGBTQIA+ community,” said the statement from the NDP. “Steven Del Duca must immediately fire this candidate.”

Stanley posted a video announcing his candidacy on YouTube on May 8. He defended himself in the comment section a few days later after receiving an accusation of bigotry. 

“Please be aware that I am not, nor never have been homophobic,” Stanely wrote in reply to a comment. “I care deeply about our gay community. The Star’s misrepresentation of a suggestion as a point of view against gays is totally incorrect and damaging. There is nothing that I have said that can be construed as hurtful to their community.”

Andrea Ernesaks, press secretary for the Ontario Liberal Party, said they were unaware of Stanley’s book and that Stanley admitted he failed to disclose the book to the vetting team.

“As soon as we learned of this history, we immediately informed him that he will not be running as part of our Liberal team,” said a statement provided by Ernesaks. “Steven Del Duca and the Ontario Liberal Party condemn these offensive views and will not accept any candidates who have a track record of bigotry or homophobia. We hope that every party takes a similar stance.”

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