Thompson mayoral candidate Ryan Brady, whose racist comments on the white supremacist website Stormfront from 2009 and 2010 resurfaced after being posted online a few days ago, said on Facebook Sept. 25 that he is withdrawing from the race, though candidates in Manitoba municipal elections can’t withdraw more than 24 hours after the nomination period closes, which was a week ago.
“Withdrawing,” Brady wrote on Facebook Sept. 25. “Thank you for all of your support, and understanding. My family is incredibly affected by this news, and by people's reactions to this matter. I hate to withdraw, but I am doing what is asked of me by my wife and by others. Sorry, I just wanted to do great things for my community and everyone in it. I guess people don't want these issues worked on, or repaired. I'll still be working with the indigenous community and others, to show my views have changed. But enough is enough, fighting hate with hate isn't progression.”
The Manitoba municipal election officials guide says, “A candidate may, up until 24 hours after the nomination period ends, withdraw his/her nomination papers (35 days before Election Day). A candidate cannot withdraw after the 24 hour period."
That announcement came a day after Brady posted an apology for his comments from nearly nine years ago.
“I apologize for the words that I have said 10 years ago, and the hurt it is causing today to my friends, to my family, to the members of my community and to everyone, everywhere it may have affected directly or indirectly. One thing I will not apologize for, is the mistakes that I have made regarding my racist postings 10 years past. It has helped shaped me into the person that I am, and grow as a better human being. By teaching me, to be more compassionate, understanding and caring; towards everyone, from every walk of life. I think that my actions the last 10 years have shown that, but I have a long journey to go, to make amends with all those I have hurt. And the fact that I'm willing to work with the groups of people I wrongly labeled and judged. I have much to learn, for me to become a less ignorant person. I am willing to put in the effort and work, to learn all I can; so that I may be a better man today, than I was yesterday. I have reached out to indigenous members of my community, surrounding communities and even distant communities in our province to work together on the issues that are plaguing our communities and abroad. I hope that people will read this, and decide to open up more discussion. I do not expect forgiveness or sympathy. But I hope to earn your respect in time, as my actions are shown that I am doing what I can to better myself as a human being.”
Brady told the Thompson Citizen in a Sept 23 interview that the comments he posted on Stormfront, which were first published at http://anti-racistcanada.blogspot.com in a 2009 article about a group called Winnipeg White Pride Warriors, were “trolling.” He told CBC in an interview the following day, "I didn't believe in all of that stuff that I said on Stormfront, but I did believe in some of it, but that isn't the person I am today.” He said his comments from 2009 were disgusting and wrong and that they do not reflect who he is.
He said in both interviews that he hadn’t posted any racist comments online since 2010 when he posted his last comment on Stormfront. On Sept. 25, a screenshot of a comment that appears to have been posted by Brady seven years ago, which makes references to “”towelbans” and says somebody should just wipe the Middle East off the world with nuclear weapons, was posted on the Chat It Up Thompson Facebook group.