Dayleen Van Ryswyk

Dayleen Van Ryswyk

Van Ryswyk says she’ll run as an independent in Kelowna-Mission

Disgraced former NDP candidate says her remarks about aboriginal people and French were inappropriate but born out of frustration.

Dayleen Van Ryswyk may not be the NDP candidate for Kelowna-Mission any more, but that doesn’t mean she going to sit out the upcoming provincial election.

Van Ryswyk has told Global Okanagan television she plans to run as an independent in the May 14 election.

And yesterday she tweeted that she has received a lot of support since comments she wrote on a online community forum in 2009 decrying what she feels are “handouts” for aboriginal people came to light.

“Maybe it’s time for a truly independent voice,” tweeted Van Ryswyk.

In her interview with Global, part of which was posted on the station’s website Tuesday afternoon, Van Ryswyk admitted her comments were “inappropriate.”

But she said they stemmed from a frustration she still has, and one that many others share, that settlement with aboriginal people for past injustices has not already been made.

Calls to Van Ryswyk by the Capital News for comment Tuesday and Wednesday were not returned.

Speaking to Global, Van Ryswyk called her 2009 comments about aboriginals and her 2010 comments about the use of French in Canada “inappropriate” but added she made them four years ago when she was not running for public office.

She also hit back at the Liberals, saying they released only parts of what she wrote in 2009 and 2010 and did not include her call for everyone to live together as one and to be treated equally.

The disgraced former NDP candidate said she was asked to resign as the Kelowna-Mission candidate on Tuesday and did so.

Party leader Adrian Dix subsequantly called Van Ryswyk’s comments “unacceptable” and said a replacement candidate would be named soon for Kelowna-Mission. Liberal Transportation Minister Mary Polak, who had publicly demanded DIx fire Van Ryswyk as a candidate earlier Tuesday morning, called the comments “hateful.”

Van Ryswyk can run as independent if she pays the $250 fee, collects the signatures of 75 nominators and files her nomination papers before April 26.

Yesterday, she said when she wrote her comments four years ago she was angry and since then has come to believe “thousands” of people agree with her.

But she said despite that anger, she now feels that saying what she said was not okay.

“I’m not that type of person,” she said.

The online comments, published in several postings over a few days in 2009, took aim at government support for aboriginal people, saying she felt it was time her generation stopped paying for the “mistakes of the past” when it comes to recognizing how aboriginal people were treated in Canada.

“Enough is enough already,” she wrote.

“In my opinion, we have paid out debt a thousand fold. It’s time to move on, heal and grow. If native people are to be the proud nation they keep talking about, then stand on you own two feet and hold your heads high. There are a  lot of things to be proud of, stop dwelling on the past because, like the economy, the gravy train bubble will eventually burst too.”

Polak said such comments are not appropriate for someone who wants to sit as an MLA in B.C.

A year later, Van Ryswyk, was back on the same Castanet community forum,complaining about the use of French at the opening of the Vancouver Winter Olympics. She wrote she was tired of French being “stuffed down my throat.”

“This isn’t Quebec, it’s Western Canada. We speak English here.”

She wrote she was offended that French was spoken first at the opening ceremonies.

She said Tuesday she has since learned that French is the language of the Olympic movement and now understands why it was used.












Kelowna Capital News