Saskatchewan Party candidate resigns following concerns over social media activity related to COVID-19, QAnon conspiracy theories

REGINA—The Saskatchewan Party says a candidate has resigned over social media posts.

Party communications director Jim Billington said in a statement Saturday afternoon that “the content and views” Saskatoon Eastview candidate Daryl Cooper “interacted with on social media” were “concerning.”

Billington also said they were “not representative of the values of the Saskatchewan Party,” its leader or its members.

Party Leader Scott Moe told a campaign stop in Prince Albert Saturday morning they were made aware of the posts Friday and were looking at the situation closely, although Moe said he wasn’t familiar with the nature of the content.

Cooper’s official Saskatchewan Party Twitter and Facebook accounts have now been deleted, and he declined comment when reached on Saturday.

PressProgress reported Friday that Cooper’s social media accounts had expressed support online for conspiracy theories about the origin of COVID-19 and that his account clicked “like” on posts that support QAnon — a wide-ranging unfounded conspiracy that many prominent people, such as the U.S. Democrats, are involved in a Satanic pedophile ring.

“This is concerning. I would say that first and foremost,” Moe said Saturday.

“As it turns out many of the posts that we’re discussing here today were made after this particular candidate was chosen as a Saskatchewan Party candidate.”

PressProgress also said that a separate post on Cooper’s account from May listed different conspiratorial theories around the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic, including a connection to 5G technology and “Galactic Cosmic Rays.”

Cooper was acclaimed last June to run for the party in Saskatoon Eastview for the Oct. 26 vote after retiring from a nearly 40-year career in finance.

The Saskatchewan Party previously held the seat, but it became vacant after former legislative member Corey Tochor was successful in his run to become a Conservative MP in the 2019 federal election.

Billington said a new candidate would be named in the coming days.



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