Former N.S. Liberal candidate said she has no interest in speaking to Iain Rankin right now following scathing social media posts
HALIFAX -- The former Liberal candidate for Dartmouth South says party leader Iain Rankin called her Thursday morning following posts she made online, but she’s not interested in speaking with him right now.
"All I wanted was for my truth to get out and I don’t want to be a spectacle anymore. I just wanted to bring attention to something bigger than I am,” Robyn Ingraham told CTV News at her Dartmouth barbershop Friday, saying she wasn’t interested in speaking on-camera.
In a social media post on Wednesday, Ingraham said the reason she dropped out of the Nova Scotia election was because of revealing photos she had posted in the past -- photos she said she had disclosed to the party.
Ingraham described receiving an overwhelming number of messages on social media - some supportive of her and some attacking her - after she said the Liberal party sent her a prepared statement to use, which blamed her mental health as reason for dropping out of the race.
In her post, Ingraham said the party was concerned when boudoir photos surfaced after it was announced she was the candidate.
Ingraham said she has used multiple platforms including Tumblr, Instagram, and OnlyFans—a site where people earn money from fans who subscribe to their content.
"I’m having people tell me they don’t want me to be role models for their daughter," Ingraham said.
She said during the vetting process, she provided the Liberals with an extensive list of past and present social media accounts.
Rankin, who is campaigning in Sydney, N.S., said he's tried to connect with Ingraham several times since her post surfaced online.
He said his team "assisted" with the first statement and "that's the one that I rely upon."
“My understanding is she withdrew and … as a team we helped put together her statement,” Rankin said.
"I’m sad to lose a candidate race."
Rankin said there are elements in Ingraham's second statement that made him "uncomfortable."
"I want diverse candidates that have different life experiences. I want to make sure we have an open inclusive party and I’m going to continue to do that. We’ve made huge strides forward especially with this campaign and our candidates. We’re going to continue to recruit people that have different experiences," he said.
In her post, Ingraham said a member of the Liberal team asked whether she has had sex in exchange for money. She said she has not, and doesn't believe the party has the right to ask her that question.
When pressed on whether the Liberal Party asks every candidate if they have been paid for sex, or whether the party posed that question to Ingraham, Rankin said he doesn’t believe that’s part of the questionnaire.
He said he's not aware if the party asked that, and can’t speak for every single screening question asked by the party.
"I wasn’t a part of those conversations. I haven’t had a conversation with Robyn. That would not disqualify a candidate," Rankin said.
Tory Leader Tim Houston says the incident suggests there's been a pattern of alleged misogynistic attitudes in the premier's office, in reference to the resignation of former Liberal cabinet minister Margaret Miller in June.
At the time, emails had emerged in which Miller had suggested a staff person in Rankin's office had displayed misogynistic behaviour.
"Margaret Miller, a former minister colleague of (Rankin's) for seven years, raised concerns about misogynistic behaviour," Houston told reporters Friday. "He never even picked up the phone and called her. That's concerning."
Houston added that Rankin consistently blames others when he should be directly involved in decisions such as the vetting of candidates.
NDP Leader Gary Burrill, who made a child care announcement in Halifax Friday, has responded to Ingraham's allegations by calling on parties to take a stand against misogynistic attacks on female candidates.
With files from The Canadian Press.