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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

About one-sixth of students in School District 83 choose to ‘restart’ June 1

Superintendent of schools expects numbers may increase as word of safety protocols spreads

Drugs, machete found in truck with stolen plate driven by Salmon Arm man

Chase RCMP arrest driver and have vehicle towed

Column: Shuswap Emergency Program an important asset for region

Council Report by City of Salmon Arm Councillor Kevin Flynn

Trial of accused in Salmon Arm church shooting expected to be brief

Crown won’t dispute not criminally responsible by way of a mental disorder defence

Okanagan home sales increase over last month, still below 2019 numbers: OMREB

Sales, listings see increase over May’s numbers but dwindle in comparison to 2019

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

Princeton RCMP sergeant kills cougar threatening residential neighborhood

An RCMP officer shot and killed a cougar, close to a residential… Continue reading

Pilot project approved: Penticton to allow alcohol in outdoor spaces

For almost two hours, council debated the proposed pilot project, before eventually passing it 4-2

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

Top cop calls video of Kelowna Mountie striking suspect ‘concerning’

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

HERGOTT: Can you get money back if COVID-19 disrupts plans?

Paul Hergott is a personal injury lawyer based in West Kelowna

Most Read