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BREAKING: NDP candidate in Kelowna resigns over online comments

Just hours into the official election campaign, British Columbia NDP leader Adrian Dix has accepted the resignation of the party's candidate in Kelowna-Mission over comments she made in an online forum about First Nations people.

A few minutes after 9 a.m. this morning, the BC Liberals issued a press release demanding Dix terminate the candidacy of Dayleen Van Ryswyk.

"Ms. Van Ryswyk has made unacceptable and hateful statements against First Nations and French speaking Canadians. There is no place in British Columbia for that type of language," the release quoted Langley incumbent Mary Polak saying. "Adrian Dix should immediately terminate her nomination."

The release quoted Van Ryswyk's comments from forums on the Castanet blog, including (punctuation and grammar unchanged by The Tyee):

"It's not the status cards, it's the fact that we have been paying out of the nose for generations for something that isn't our doing. If their ancestors sold out too cheap it's not my fault and i shouldn't have to be paying for any mistake or whatever you want to call it from MY hard earned money."

"It's time our generation stopped paying for the mistakes of the past…let us all be one people…THE SAME.. race, creed colour or gender shouldn't matter anymore in this day and age…enough is enough already."

"The government is nothing more than a big black hole that feeds off the working man, sucking his last penny from his hand so they can give it away freely or lose it stupidly on things like fast ferries and about a zillion other stupid things."

"In my opinion, we have paid our debt…a thousand's time to move on, heal and grow. If the native people are to be the proud nation they keep talking about, then stand on your two feet and hold your heads high. There are a lot of things to be proud of, stop dwelling on the past. Because like the economy…the gravy train bubble will eventually burst too."

"Seems the only group of people universally hated around the world other than the Americans are the french and FRENCH CANADIANS…the bigots are the french and not us…."

"I'm getting so sick of having french stuffed down my throat…this isn't Quebec…it's western Canada…we speak english here….why are we forced to have it at our western Canadian hosted Olympics?"

The Liberal's release came not long before Premier Christy Clark visited Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon to ask her to dissolve the legislature and issue the writs of election for the province's 85 constituencies.

At 11:22 a.m. the NDP released a statement from Dix: "Earlier today, I was made aware of unacceptable comments made by Kelowna-Mission NDP candidate Dayleen van Ryswyk. I have accepted Ms. Van Ryswyk's resignation. A new BC NDP candidate will be announced shortly."

The incumbent in Kelowna-Mission is Steve Thomson, who won the constituency by a margin of 27 percent in 2009.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee's Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Find him on Twitter or reach him here.

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