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

Esquimalt needs urgent health care facility, mayor says

A severe doctor shortage is leaving Esquimalt residents scrambling for health care

Almost four of 10 Canadians have unlimited internet data at home

Fifty-four per cent say they telecommute at least sometimes

Student Voice: Saanich students launch competitive robotics team

The Reynolds Reybots plan to share their skills with middle schools

Royal BC Museum’s newest series takes visitors behind the scenes

Adult sessions explores art, nature, history and more

What are the worst parking spots in Victoria?

We are looking for the worst places in the city to park and need your opinion

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Most Read