05/05/2013 12:44 EDT | Updated 07/04/2013 05:12 EDT

Bill Vander Zalm: Mischa Popoff Has My Endorsement

Bill Vander Zalm, former B.C. premier and successful anti-Harmonized Sales Tax crusader, has come out to endorse independent candidate Mischa Popoff for Boundary-Similkameen.

“Popoff has my endorsement and every wish for success in the upcoming provincial election,” said Vander Zalm in a statement released Friday. Vander Zalm, former B.C. Social Credit Party leader, led the province’s anti-HST campaign.

The B.C. Conservatives dropped Popoff from their roster on April 25 after “insensitive and disrespectful” comments he made about single mothers in a newspaper column surfaced.

Popoff responded to the dismissal in a four-minute video titled “Mischa Popoff Will Not Be Bullied” featuring a head-butting young bull. In the video, Popoff announced his intention to run as an independent candidate after his Tory dismissal.

Similar scandals have also forced other party candidates to be dropped.

Vancouver-False Creek candidate Ian Tootill is also running as an independent after he was booted from the B.C. Conservative party over “shameful” tweets about women and Hitler in the same week.

B.C. New Democrats dropped Kelowna candidate Dayleen Van Ryswyk from the party on the first official day of the election over “hateful” comments she made about First Nations and French Canadians in an Internet forum. Van Ryswyk is running as an independent and has since hired a bodyguard.

Read Vander Zalm’s full statement here:

I’ve been watching Mischa Popoff’s campaign in the Boundary-Similkameen, and I’m confident the constituents of this riding appreciate a candidate who says what he believes and stands for, who represents voters, and is not subject to party dictates. Popoff has my endorsement and every wish for success in the upcoming provincial election.

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