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

All Nations Driving Academy gets $360K boost from province

Terrace-based driving school bridges gap in services for remote northwest B.C. communities

Skeena Watershed reopened for recreational pink and coho

Four sections and tributaries remain closed

Skeena-Bulkley Valley candidates react to finding Trudeau broke ethics law

The election campaign is heating up before the writ has even dropped

Body of ATV rider recovered from bottom of Terrace trail

BC Coroners Service investigating death of man in his 70s

All Nations, Haisla teams hoop basketball tournament titles

Eighteen teams across two divisions faced off Aug. 8-10

VIDEO: Langley Ribfest met with protesters

Groups that oppose the event for various reasons plan to be on site each of the three days.

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after B.C. Mountie’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

PHOTOS: Weapons seized at Portland right-wing rally, counterprotests

Not all who gathered Saturday were with right-wing groups or antifa

Discussion on grief and loss between Stephen Colbert, Anderson Cooper goes viral

The exchange includes emotional question from Cooper, and outlook on grief as a child

Toronto activist calling on federal parties to nominate more black candidates

Fewer than 20 black Canadians have been nominated so far, including some Liberal MPs seeking re-election

Most Read