With less than a week left in the election, two NDP candidates have resigned following unsurfaced anti-Semitic comments. According to CTV, party spokesperson George Soule said Wednesday that Sidney Coles, running in Toronto-St. Paul's, and Dan Osborne, running in the Nova Scotia riding of Cumberland-Colchester, are resigning by choice.
"They have agreed to educate themselves further about anti-Semitic," spokesperson George Soule told CTV News. "New Democrats stand united against discrimination of all kinds. We are committed to taking lasting and meaningful steps toward ending prejudice and hatred in all its forms."
Screenshots of a Tweet made by Sidney Coles appeared on social media over the weekend. These tweets allege that Israel was responsible for alleged missing COVID-19 vaccine doses. The tweet was shared by Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies, which demanded a "retraction and apology" for the remarks.
Coles has since taken to Twitter to apologize for "unsubstantiated theories about vaccine supply linked to Israel." She continues, "These comments weren't based on evidence. I recognize this frame is a common anti-Semitic trope, though that was never my intent."
"I should not have made this link and apologize and retract those statements. I will continue to stand firmly against antisemitism, racism and discrimination in all its forms." Coles has since deleted her Twitter.
Meanwhile, candidate Dan Osborne faced similar criticism after old tweets from 2019 depict him questioning the existence of Auschwitz. He responded, claiming he did not recall making those comments but apologized nonetheless. "I want to offer an apology. The role of Auschwitz and the history of the Holocaust is one we should never forget. Antisemitism should be confronted and stopped," he said.
Speaking to reporters Wednesday, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh said that those comments have “no place” in the party.
"We’re seeing a scary rise in anti-Semitism," Singh said. "I want folks to know that our values are values of inclusivity, making sure everyone feels welcome and making sure everyone feels like they belong."