NEW MINAS, N.S. - The NDP in Nova Scotia said it fired a campaign worker and apologized to a Liberal candidate Tuesday after a member of the party's election team referred to him as an "outspoken homophobe."
NDP candidate Ramona Jennex said Nathaniel Cole was dismissed for using the term in reference to Keith Irving, the Liberal candidate in her riding of Kings South.
"It goes against everything I believe in and he's no longer with this campaign anymore," she said in an interview.
"I do hope that Mr. Irving recognizes that this is not anything that would come from the campaign. It was an individual who made a huge, huge error."
Jennex said Cole was working for her campaign when he sent the email to Acadia Pride, a student group at Acadia University in Wolfville.
But she said he acted on his own without party approval and used his personal email address.
The Liberals provided a copy of an email which said Jennex, the education minister, would be interested in meeting with members of the group to discuss issues on campus and further her work with the gay community in the Annapolis Valley.
The email goes on to say that Jennex is running against "the outspoken homophobe Keith Irving."
Irving issued a statement saying the allegation was unfounded and hurtful.
"This type of smear campaign is not what Nova Scotians want or expect from any political party," he said in the statement. "It is an unfortunate reflection on the NDP and it needs to stop now."
A spokesman for the party said Cole, a paid NDP worker, was fired soon after Jennex learned of the email. Jennex said she phoned Irving to apologize. She said she didn't know why Cole would have referred to Irving in that way.
Cole could not be reached for comment.
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