Windsor-Tecumseh NDP candidate apologizes for leaked recording
TECUMSEH -- The New Democrat incumbent in Windsor-Tecumseh is apologizing for a past recording that is making the rounds on social media.
Cheryl Hardcastle is heard on a telephone call that took place shortly after the 2014 municipal election, when she lost the mayoral race in Tecumseh to Gary McNamara.
According to Hardcastle, the 40-minute call was recorded without her knowledge, and she apologized Thursday when asked about it at a news conference.
"It was an emotional time for me and I said some things I don't believe are true and I move forward from that," said Hardcastle. "Deeply sorry and keep focusing on community service."
In the audio recording, which has been edited, Hardcastle can be heard calling voters "stupid" and said residents "drank his Koolaid."
"I was going through stuff with my dad at the hospital at the time and no sleep," said Hardcastle. "I'm not making excuses though, I'm just saying that's the situation with that phone call."
The recording was uploaded to YouTube back in 2015, but it is gaining traction this week after an online post by the True North Centre for Public Policy, a registered Canadian charity that describes itself as an independent and non-partisan advocacy organization.
In the recording -- Hardcastle said "They just drank his Kool-aid, or you just ate his pablum," when describing voter support for McNamara. "You bought into his f***ing little show… like I just can't believe people are that stupid," said Hardcastle on the tape.
"I respect every voter, I respect the process and all I could say, I said things that weren't true because it was emotional," said Hardcastle on Thursday. "You can't explain that, I have to deeply apologize."
"I'm just very embarrassed and I feel so bad about sharing these inappropriate comments with someone that I trusted in a moment and made a mistake," added Hardcastle.
CTV News spoke to Gary McNamara on Thursday, who admitted to being disappointed in his former council colleague
"The biggest disappointment of the whole issue is calling the electorate stupid and then, I've got such a terrific staff in town hall, and then for her to say she hates them. I thought that was a little bit over the top," said McNamara
McNamara also said it's important to be humble in victory and gracious in defeat, but added it's time to move on.
According to Hardcastle, the person she was speaking to on the tape -- Antonello Di Millo, who also ran for mayor in 2014 -- did not know the call was being recorded either.
The True North publication said the conversation was between Hardcastle and Tony Azar.
But Azar released a statement saying "the content of the article is inaccurate and I would like to confirm that I was not a participant on the call as mentioned. It was also mentioned that I recorded the call and this allegation is incorrect."
Azar, who ran for Deputy Mayor in Tecumseh in the 2014 municipal election, went on to say "while I don’t appreciate and fully disagree with the language used in the recording towards voters in Tecumseh, I would like to confirm once again that I will never violate someone’s privacy or engage in any recording. I take my reputation very seriously, and I will always continue to stand behind my community."
Hardcastle is running in Windsor-Tecumseh against Conservative Leo Demarce, Irek Kusmierczyk of the Liberals, Giovanni Abati of the Green Party, Dan Burr of the People's Party of Canada and Laura Chesnik of the Marxist-Leninist Party.
The federal election is Oct. 21.