A Nanaimo-based filmmaker’s federal NDP candidacy for the 2015 election has been denied.
Paul Manly was seeking the NDP nomination for the newly-formed Nanaimo-Ladysmith riding, but in an online statement posted on Monday, said “the federal NDP has refused to allow me to stand as a candidate.”
Manly’s father was part of a humanitarian flotilla that went to Israel in 2012. The ship was seized by Israeli authorities and his father was taken to prison. Manly spoke out at the time on behalf of his father and the cause he was representing.
When contacted by the News Bulletin, he declined to comment on the 2012 incident, pointing to the online statement, but said his supporters have a right to know why he’s no longer a candidate and he has a right to tell them. In the statement, he said he did not and will not receive a written explanation for being refused and was told over the phone that it was related to “what I said and did when my father was in Israel.” He said he has done nothing illegal, immoral or that breaks the NDP constitution.
“I did what I did to support my father,” Manly said to the News Bulletin. “The statement I made, I don’t want to really add to it. I think my supporters have a right to know why I was denied and I have a right to tell them and that’s kind of it. What I said when my father was in prison is what I said. You can’t take [it] back.”
He said he worried about people making assumptions regarding why his candidacy was rejected.
George Soule, federal NDP spokesperson, said the party has a confidential vetting process.
“All parties have some form of vetting and within this vetting process, something concerning came up and so his candidacy was rejected,” Soule said, adding that he couldn’t comment further due to confidentiality.
The deadline to apply to become a candidate for the NDP in the Nanaimo-Ladysmith federal riding is in September. So far, four candidates have been approved to contend for the nomination: Natasha Bob, Sheila Malcolmson, Dominique Roelants and Kip Wood.