Trans advocate Jayce Carver said she believes Igor Dzaic should bow out of the Ward 7 by-election after his "transphobic" tweet came to light.
"Imagine thinking that to be a woman all you have to do is say you are and get a few surgeries, even though you're a man," read one of Dzaic's tweets. "You must not value real women at all."
Carver said Dzaic apologized for some of his social media posts, which she said is "kind of too little too late." He made several posts on Twitter that people find offensive. Instead of seeking to represent members of the public in an election, he should "take some time to get educated around different identities."
"When you are a politician, you're supposed to represent the entirety of your community," said Carver. "Trans-identified people — although we are a small part of the community — we are part of the community."
During a telephone interview with CBC News last week, Dzaic said he didn't recall publishing that tweet.
"As for things I may or may not have said years ago, we all learn and we all move on. I have nothing really to say about that, other than it's been years, I've moved on," said Dzaic.
When addressing screenshots of that particular social media post and others, Dzaic said he "made mistakes which I own up to and don't hide from."
"I move forward and look to build a better future for all," the post read.
On Sunday, Dzaic posted to Facebook that he doesn't "subscribe to erasing the identities of women and I don't find my post to be transphobic whatsoever."
And on Monday, he declined an interview request from CBC News and said he would prefer to talk about policies.
"I'm going to put that to rest for now," he told CBC News.
In a Facebook post Dzaic admits he exercised poor judgement, made a mistake and has learned from it.
"I apologize to the LGBTQ community," he posted.
There's a coffee outing in the works between Carver, who made the request, and Dzaic to further discuss the implications of his social media posts.
"That's small compared to the damage that it can cause," said Carver.
During this period of isolation due to COVID-19, Carver thought some positive would come out of it and people would "band together." Instead, she said she's noticed more hate.
"It's saddening to me. I thought that we were going to come out of this and that we were going to learn to appreciate the value of each other a lot more," said Carver.
Ultimately, Carver said she wants people to realize that "words have power."
Ward 7 candidates speak out
Meanwhile, on the campaign trail some candidates have spoken publicly about Dzaic's tweets.
"Many of these posts were uninformed & misleading, and the hurtful language this candidate used in his writing has caused residents of our community great pain," said candidate Farah El-Hajj in a statement.
Candidate Howard Weeks is also calling for Dzaic to step away from the by-election race.
"I want to state in no uncertain terms that that spewing this kind of garbage is totally unacceptable and due to the fact that his actions may reflect badly on the other candidates and the race itself I'm calling for him to remove himself as soon as possible," he said in a statement.
And candidate Michelle Gajewski responded on social media.
"I believe that residents of Ward 7 have love and compassion in their hearts and won't tolerate those that are so openly filled with hate," she said.