Yukon NDP's Watson Lake candidate drops out over offensive tweets

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Amy Labonte, the Yukon NDP candidate for Watson Lake, has dropped out of the election after a CBC News report revealed some of her offensive tweets. (Elections Yukon - image credit)
Amy Labonte, the Yukon NDP candidate for Watson Lake, has dropped out of the election after a CBC News report revealed some of her offensive tweets. (Elections Yukon - image credit)

The Yukon NDP candidate for Watson Lake has dropped out of the territory's general election after a CBC News report revealed some of her offensive tweets.

"I want to take responsibility for these comments. Some of these comments were racist and ableist, and they are not acceptable," Amy Labonte said in a news release sent out Wednesday by the political party.

In one of her tweets from 2019, she said that she hoped for the assassination of the president of the United States.

On Tuesday, Yukon NDP Leader Kate White said that she wanted Labonte to continue her campaign.

On Wednesday, White said the two agreed that Labonte should withdraw.

"These comments are serious and hurtful, and they need a serious response. I know that these comments coming up today are hurting people today, no matter when they were originally said, and it's why this is the right path forward," White said in the news release.

Removed from the ballot

Max Harvey, chief electoral officer of Elections Yukon, said that the official withdrawal was received before the deadline, which was 2 p.m. on Wednesday.

"She will be removed from the ballot," Harvey said. "Notification will be placed at the advanced and ordinary polls and at the returning office in Watson Lake that she is no longer a candidate."

When the ballots are counted on April 12, any special ballots that name Labonte or the NDP party will be rejected, he said.

Neither Labonte nor White were available for further comment on Wednesday.

A screen shot of one of Amy Labonte's tweets.
A screen shot of one of Amy Labonte's tweets.(Steve Silva/CBC)

On July 11, 2013, Labonte tweeted: "Men who turban their hair instead of cutting it: does it smell?? #ifyouSEEKamy"

On Jan. 25, 2013, she tweeted: "If gay people come out of the closet, do gay midgets come out of the cupboard? #hilarious."

Labonte said she has changed since she made her comments, and she wouldn't make them today.

"No matter how I feel about them today, I cannot erase them, no matter how regretful I feel. I helped contribute to a conversation online that hurt people, and I deeply regret this," she said.

The nomination deadline for candidates in the April 12 election passed on Monday.

The Yukon Party's Patti McLeod and Liberal Amanda Brown are still running in the Watson Lake electoral district.

Election day is April 12.