The former Progressive Conservative candidate for the provincial byelection in Northside-Westmount who was dumped just before the deadline for nominations is shedding some light on the eleventh-hour turn of events.
On Wednesday, the party turfed Danny Laffin, saying he had failed to comply with the internal disclosure process. Neither the party nor Laffin has specified what he failed to disclose.
Laffin, who was acclaimed to represent the party in the Sept. 3 byelection, said in a statement released Thursday that the day after his acclamation, a member of the party made “false accusations” concerning him.
He said the party investigated the unspecified claim and found it to be false.
“To be completely transparent, 20 years ago when I ran for a provincial seat, this same allegation came forward,” he said in the statement.
“At that time the party leader, Mr. [John] Hamm, and his office took the allegation very seriously and completed a full investigation and it was unfounded, it was a lie. They stood beside me and gave me their full support as their candidate for our riding of Cape Breton North.”
Laffin wrote that he takes responsibility for not disclosing the allegation from 20 years ago.
“Looking back, it was a mistake made from being confident that the unfounded allegation which was cleared by the same party I have been involved with for well over 35 years was a closed issue.”
Laffin said he has always taken the allegation seriously, and still does.
“Unfortunately, I have to accept that false accusations can be made without consequence except for those they are directed at.”
In the statement, Laffin said he is running as an independent candidate, promising to “fight for you with every ounce of Cape Breton blood that I have in me.”
The Progressive Conservatives replaced Laffin with Murray Ryan.