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No apology for tough research on opponents: Liberal official

With the NDP losing a third candidate to media scandals in British Columbia, a senior Liberal official said he's unapologetic for his party's role in taking them down.

“If Jack Layton's not willing to vet his candidates, we will,” said Brad Zubyk, the director of communications for the Liberals B.C. campaign. “We make no apologies. If they're not going to do due diligence on their people, we'll do it for them.”

The NDP's Julian West withdrew from the race in Saanich-Gulf Islands today after a 12-year-old story resurfaced about inappropriate behaviour at a youth conference. Some media reports have said Liberal party officials raised the story. Posters on some internet sites have blamed Zubyk personally.

“The Liberal Party did that,” Zubyk said, though he denied deserving credit himself. “It's all public domain. Quite frankly, we don't apologize for it. None of this is particularly hard to find.”

Last week the NDP lost candidates Dana Larsen in West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country and Kirk Tousaw in Vancouver-Quadra. Today Conservative Vancouver East candidate Ryan Warawa's old blog postings are being recirculated and there may soon be more to come.

“We're going to continue researching,” said Zubyk.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee's Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. You can reach him here.

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