The Conservative Party has dumped Derek Zeisman, a candidate in the riding of British Columbia's Southern Interior who is due to go on trial next month on smuggling charges.
CTV News learned that in July 2004, Zeisman was crossing into British Columbia from the United States, when Canada Customs charged him with attempting to smuggle in a Mercedes-Benz vehicle and 112 containers of alcohol. Zeisman is also accused of lying to Canada Customs about the incident. If convicted, he could end up in jail.
In a news conference this morning, Tory Leader Stephen Harper said it's too late to withdraw Zeisman as a candidate for the riding, but that he won't be allowed to sit as a Tory MP if he wins the riding on Jan. 23.
Harper said his party did a criminal background check on Zeisman, but that "this matter did not appear." He said Zeisman should have revealed his legal problems before seeking the nomination. Harper stressed that this is not a criminal matter; "It is, however, a serious matter."
In an interview with CTV News on Wednesday, Zeisman did not explain why he didn't tell his own party about the charges, and blamed someone in government for leaking the information.
I wonder what Paul Martin would have done? In the same position. Choose your Canada.