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Mayoral race: Bigger wants fellow candidate banned from campaign events over ‘hate’ speech

David Popescu promotes ‘hatred in the name of religion,' incumbent says

Incumbent mayor Brian Bigger is calling for fellow mayoral candidate David Popescu to be banned from all further campaign events during the 2018 municipal election.

A perennial candidate for the past few election cycles, Popescu uses the campaign trail to spread his extreme brand of Christianity that is intolerant of, in particular, the LGBTQ community. Popescu has been sanctioned before for hateful comments, and charged for hate crimes in 2015 (charges that were dropped by the Crown) for offensive campaign material. 

He was convicted of similar crimes during a 2008 campaign.

On Sept. 27 at the all-candidates event hosted by the Laurentian University Political Science Association, Popescu was cut off by the moderator a couple of times for comments that were dismissive of Indigenous culture.

Now, Bigger is calling for Popescu to be banned from the upcoming Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce debate, and is asking his fellow candidates to back that call, and for campaign event organizers to dis-invite Popescu from future events.

“The days of giving this man any opportunity to disparage those who speak other languages, to spew his hate and to pose as a distraction to all involved including candidates, organizers and the media.” said Bigger. “Anyone who calls for the extermination of homosexuals and runs in elections time and time again to promote hatred in the name of religion needs to be shown the door and not given a microphone.”

The full text of Bigger’s news release is below:

SUDBURY ON - As the 2018 municipal election moves into high gear, Mayor Brian Bigger is calling on his fellow candidates and the Sudbury Chamber of Commerce to exclude David J. Popescu from attending and participating this week’s debate.

“The days of giving this man any opportunity to disparage those who speak other languages, to spew his hate and to pose as a distraction to all involved including candidates, organizers and the media.” said Bigger. “Anyone who calls for the extermination of homosexuals and runs in elections time and time again to promote hatred in the name of religion needs to be shown the door and not given a microphone.”

Bigger is asking each of the nine other candidates running for mayor to agree as one group on this issue. He’s also insisting all event organizers to consider this request for the remainder of the election.

“There are a lot of very serious issues that I know we need to discuss and debate about the future of Greater Sudbury between now and October 22. Wednesday is the last real opportunity to have all the candidates in one place to discuss their vision for our City.”

Bigger wants this election to be about issues and doesn’t believe the distractions and hatred Popescu champions serve any part in bettering the conversations that need to be had about Greater Sudbury.

“I’m proud of how Sudbury has become a diverse and inclusive community,” added Bigger. “It’s not undemocratic to ignore those who are ignorant and serve no purpose but to shame any person in our great community. Free speech allows people to speak – it doesn’t mean we have to invite them into our living rooms and listen to them.”

Learn more about Bigger's candidacy on his page on Sudbury.com's election section.




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