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 say ambulances sitting idle

Shortages in Maple Ridge, Metro Vancouver

Teacher reprimanded after swearing at student during 2017 altercation

Gregory Norman Brock was issued letter of discipline, suspended three days without pay.

RMMBA holds first training session of season in Maple Ridge

Players wore green in honour of St. Patrick’s Day

UPDATE: Location for more temporary supportive housing in Maple Ridge by end of week

Evacuation shelter now a night refuge only, then shuts for good March 31.

Getting dry in Maple Ridge, be careful

Two brush fires recently already

‘Full worm super moon’ to illuminate B.C. skies on first day of spring

Spring has sprung, a moon named in honour of thawing soil marks final super moon until 2020

Free app launches to help immigrants, refugees as they settle in B.C.

Mobile app Arrival Advisor was developed by Vancouver-based non-profit PeaceGeeks

Catch-up immunization aims to stamp out B.C. measles resurgence

Vaccination records to be checked at B.C. schools next fall

Latest phone scam tricks Vancouver seniors out of $3.1 million

Police caution the public about using a landline phone

Bodies of two missing teens recovered in reservoir along Kootenay river

Volkswagen Beetle drove off the road down a steep embankment and into the Pend d’Oreille River Sunday

40 records broken across B.C. as hot streak continues

Abbotsford hottest spot in Canada on Tuesday

B.C. wildfire prevention budget bulked up as dry spring unfolds

Night vision goggles tested for early detection effort

Vancouver driver ticketed twice within 6 minutes for same offence

The man was written up by two different officers for using an electronic device

B.C. man ‘parks’ horse during liquor store pit stop

As long as animal wasn’t jaywalking, no problem, says Parksville official

Most Read