The Liberals have fired a second candidate in two days after the Star revealed the party’s standard-bearer in Parry Sound-Muskoka claimed — without evidence — that homosexuality is caused by infants “rebreathing” their own air shortly after birth.
Barry Stanley—a long-shot in the cottage country Tory stronghold for the June 2 provincial election, and a retired York Region elementary school teacher—is the author of a self-published 2009 book detailing his unproven theory.
“As soon as we learned of this information, he was terminated as a candidate,” Liberal campaign communications director Dan Moulton said Wednesday, minutes after the Star published the story.
“We unconditionally denounce these views.”
Stanley was unrepentant about the theory during an interview with the Star earlier in the day.
“It’s controversial … I’m the only person who’s ever said that,” he acknowledged when asked about his 2009 take “Rebreathing,” which is available on Amazon.ca. “I’m proud of it.”
Stanley said he has degrees in economics from the University of Waterloo and teaching from Lakehead University, but acknowledged he has no proof to back his theory and no scientific training.
“None whatsoever. It’s just a theoretical book … sort of folk theory,” the Bracebridge resident added as he took a break from campaigning.
“So it’s untested, unproven. These are just theories I hoped others could go with, perhaps do more testing and enlighten, you know? But there’s no proof to anything I have there.”
Details of Stanley’s book came shortly after the Liberals dumped their candidate in Sault Ste. Marie on Tuesday.
Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca said Wednesday in Etobicoke that the firing was prompted by “information that was not disclosed to us in the vetting process.”
The party has not released details, but CTV reported the candidate was an 18-year-old high school student named Aidan Kallioinen who had been acclaimed.
Despite that snag, Del Duca added, “I’m quite proud of the hard-working group of volunteers who have been running our vetting process since day one.”
Stanley said he did not tell Liberal headquarters about his book, which explores his thoughts on “rebreathing” as it relates to the causes of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, autism, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and learning disabilities.
“The book has nothing to do with the campaign but it is personal to me. I’m proud of it,” added Stanley, who was interviewed by party officials before being approved to run in the riding held for two decades by Progressive Conservative Norm Miller, who is not seeking re-election.
Stanley said he was working with a team of four Liberal volunteers and didn’t have a campaign manager until “three days ago” in the race. Bracebridge Major Graydon Smith is expected to hold the riding for Doug Ford’s PCs.
In Chapter 13 of his book, Stanley addresses “homosexual orientation,” and writes it “may also be caused by depleted rebreathing occurring shortly after birth … it is related to how the brain has developed.”
He states depleted rebreathing occurs when “insufficient new fresh air is being inhaled into the lungs” because some air being exhaled doesn’t make it all the way out of the body.
“One of the suggestions for avoiding a SIDS death or learning disability is to encourage thumb sucking and pacifier use, as these protect against their occurrence,” Stanley writes.
“It would be tragically ironic if parents were discouraging thumb sucking or pacifier use on the assumption they were reducing the possibility of their child being gay, while, in fact, they were actually increasing that possibility.”
The New Democrat campaign said the views are “hurtful to the entire 2SLGBTQIA+ community.”
Stanley, who retired a decade ago, said he taught most elementary grades and special education during his York Region District School Board career at schools in Thornhill, Newmarket and Aurora.
“It’s not in wide circulation,” he said of the 120-page book. “I get about $5 a year.”
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