Skip to content

Liberal Karen Wang drops out of byelection following post about Jagmeet Singh's ethnicity

Candidate drew criticism for contrasting her Chinese background to Singh's Indian heritage
karen Wang
Liberal Karen Wang has dropped out of the Burnaby South byelection.

Burnaby South Liberal candidate Karen Wang has dropped out of the byelection race against NDP leader Jagmeet Singh.

The daycare owner resigned after drawing criticism for making a social media post on a Chinese app in which she contrasted her ethnic background to Singh’s.

According to StarMetro Vancouver, Wang used WeChat on Saturday to urge voters to support her, “the only Chinese candidate” in the Feb. 25 byelection. She also identified Singh’s Indian heritage, according to the StarMetro translation. 

In a statement released Wednesday, Wang said she had decided to drop out of the race “after consideration with my supporters.”

“My choice of words wasn't well-considered and didn't reflect my intent, and for that, I sincerely apologize to Mr. Singh,” Wang wrote. “I have deep respect for him as the leader of his party and for his public service - and I would never want to diminish that in any way.

The party has accepted Wang’s resignation, according to a statement from spokesperson Braeden Caley.

“Recent online comments by Karen Wang are not aligned with the values of the Liberal Party of Canada,” Caley wrote. “Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada have always stood for the full and equal participation of all Canadians in our democracy, regardless of their background.”

The statement continues: “The Liberal Party has a clear commitment to positive politics and support for Canadian diversity, and the same is always expected of our candidates.” 

On the question of whether the Liberals would run a diiferent candidate in the byelection, Caley said: "With this resignation having been so recent, we'll have more to discuss on that in due course."