UPDATE: The Liberal Party now tell us they are no longer running Aiden Kallioinen as a candidate.
For most grade 11 students, their first foray into politics is usually student council but for a student that lives in Espanola, becoming the Sault’s next MPP sounded better.
Meet Aidan Kallioinen. The local Liberal association “acclaimed” the high school student as their candidate in the June 2 Ontario General Election.
Meanwhile, an experienced and well-respected Indigenous lawyer, Naomi Sayers, was not the right stuff for the local riding association, so she decided to run as an Independent. She wanted to beat Ross Romano under the Liberal banner, but was turned away.
So who has the right stuff to be the Liberal candidate? Sayers has a long list on her resume. She has the experience and knowledge of the law; Indigenous, administrative, environmental, crime, and corporate law.
According to an article in the Toronto Sun, Charrissa Klander, the “nomination commissioner” for the Ontario Liberals, wrote to Sayers and said: “Given the fact that we are days away from the election being called, and we will be unable to complete full vetting, I am writing to advise you that I have instructed staff to stop further review of your nomination application.”
There was an “enormous volume of material” provided by Sayers, Klander complained.
Kallioinen has never run in a campaign before, in fact, the local Liberal riding association has yet to officially announce their candidate publicly. The riding association, with 16 minutes notice given to local Liberals, released an email to members on Monday night. “Aidan Kallioinen will be acclaimed as the candidate of the Ontario Liberal Party in the electoral district of Sault Ste. Marie.”
All that is known about Aiden Kallioinen is that he lives three hours away from the riding he wants to represent. The Toronto Sun made the story a headline on Tuesday when they published columnist Warren Kinsella’s article “KINSELLA: Liberals choose ‘SlapMyN___MC’ boy over Indigenous female lawyer“.
There isn’t a lot to tell you about the Liberal candidate. He does have his work cut out for him though, Incumbent Ross Romano has a huge lead in the polls locally, with over 42% saying they will vote PC, while Michele McCleave-Kennedy is sitting at 28% and climbing.
However, Kinsella took to Twitter early this afternoon to announce that as a result of his story in the Toronto Sun, the Press Secretary for the Ontario Liberal Party Andrea Ernesaks had reached out to him advising that they had notified Kallioninen that he would no longer be running as part of the Liberal Team.
“SLAP MINE NUTS MC” IS SLAPPED – Out! In response to the story I wrote in @theTorontoSun, the Ontario Liberal Party‘s chosen candidate in Sault Ste. Marie is out. Story coming soon. #onpoli pic.twitter.com/CYUv2yoZoJ
— Warren Kinsella (@kinsellawarren) May 10, 2022
Voters head to the polls on June 2.