B.C. NDP candidate chided for “chinkasaurus’ comment but stays in race

·Politics Reporter

Another day in the B.C. election campaign, another 'bozo comment' from the past comes back to haunt a candidate.

This time, however, the candidate, isn't being fired.

According to the Vancouver Sun the NDP is standing by Korean-born Jane Shin — who is running in the Vancouver-area riding of Burnaby Lougheed — for calling Chinese people "chinkasauruses" in an online gaming forum 11 years ago when she was 21.

"I’ll use myself as an example. If I made those comments today, I should be fired," veteran NDP MLA Jenny Kwan told the Sun in Shin's defence.

"Jane made those comments in the context of a gaming forum 11 years ago and I think today she has matured. She is a sincere, respectful person. She oozes respect when you talk to her."

[ Related: Ousted B.C. Conservative candidate says he won’t be ‘bull’-ied ]

At first glance, the move not to fire Shin appears "hypocritical."

Two weeks ago, at the start of the campaign, the NDP fired candidate Dayleen Van Ryswyk after it was discovered that she had written several blogs in 2009 and 2010 which included derogatory references to First Nations and French people.

So, in essence, the NDP are saying it's okay to make derogatory remarks 11 years ago, but not 2, 3 or 4 years ago? Is there some sort of time limit on bozo comments?

In contrast, the fledgling Conservative Party has fired three candidates since the beginning of the campaign: Ian Toothill was let go for a tweet about Hitler, Ron Hebert was punished for a tweet calling Premier Christy Clark a "bitch" and Mischa Popoff was fired last weekend after party officials discovered an old op-ed piece of his that was critical of single moms.

[ Related: B.C. Premier Christy Clark didn’t get the knockout punch she needed in leaders' debate ]

Liberal Party candidate Ken Kramer appears to be taking the high road on Shin's comment.

"We believe that it is unfortunate that anyone would say something like what Ms. Shin has admitted to saying in the past," Kramer told Yahoo! Canada News in an email exchange.

"But we believe the much more serious issue relates to the way Ms. Shin has represented her education and biography."

Shin, according to the Kramer and the Liberals, had been touting herself as a medical doctor until very recently. Apparently, she has a doctorate but has never been a practicing doctor.

Here is snippet of the Kramer's statement released on Wednesday morning:

On the endorsements page of the NDP website, Adrian Dix states:

“Jane is the first Korean-Canadian woman to run for the BC Legislature. Her background and experience as a medical professional, an entrepreneur and a community leader will offer a unique perspective and bring strong representation for the people of Burnaby-Lougheed."

“What was Adrian Dix referring to when he spoke of Jane Shin’s experience as a medical professional?” asked [Liberal candidate Ken] Kramer. “It seems the NDP wanted to pass Ms. Shin off as a medical professional - someone who at some point had actually practiced medicine - instead of a graduate of a Caribbean medical school who hadn’t done her residency nor ever passed her medical board exams.”

Over the past week, Ms. Shin has altered her LinkedIn, BCNDP and BCIT biographies a number of times upon being questioned about her educational and work experience.

“Did Adrian Dix know that Jane Shin had never practiced medicine when he endorsed her?” asked Kramer. “The signature block on Jane Shin’s BCNDP website was altered from 'Jane Shin, MD' to 'Dr. Jane Shin'. Maybe Adrian Dix assumed she practiced medicine due to the letters “MD” after her name.”

According to the Sun, Shin blames the "confusion" on Korean translations.

[ Related: B.C. Premier Christy Clark slammed for running a red light ]

The NDP insist that not firing Shin has nothing to do with the fact that the deadline for registering candidates has now passed.

Call me a cynic but I find that a little difficult to believe.

(Photo courtesy of Reuters)

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