06/19/2015 12:18 EDT | Updated 06/19/2016 05:59 EDT

Sask. Liberal candidate out over Facebook photo of woman with black eye

The federal Liberal candidate in a Saskatchewan riding has stepped down after making a joke on social media using a photo of a woman with a black eye.

The Liberal Party confirmed Friday that Battlefords-Lloydminster candidate Ray Fox is no longer the party's candidate. Fox had been acclaimed as the Liberal candidate for the riding at a nomination meeting in January.
"The Liberal Party of Canada takes the issue of domestic violence extremely seriously," the party's national director, Jeremy Broadhurst, said in a written statement.

"The post made by Mr. Fox was inappropriate and domestic violence is never a matter to be taken lightly or joked about. We expect all of our candidates to lead by example when addressing such important issues."

The post in question was supposed to be a joke about the Stanley Cup final on Monday, in which Chicago defeated Tampa Bay.

Fox's Facebook wall used a meme that has popped up on various places on the internet. It shows a family portrait of a white man and a white woman, posing with their baby, who is black. The woman has a black eye.

The post was removed earlier this week.

The Conservatives were quick to attack Fox and Liberals over the post, with a tweet that said "Domestic abuse is no laughing matter."

Jenni Byrne, the Conservative Party's national campaign chair, said on Twitter that Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is only as ready as his candidates.

"This one [Fox] has some explaining to do," Byrne tweeted on Wednesday.

Battlefords-Lloydminster is currently held by Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz.

CBC News has requested an interview with Fox but he has not returned phone calls.