Wai Young defends herself in living room chat
After days of silence, embattled Conservative Wai Young fielded questions yesterday about her links to a man acquitted in the Air India bombings -- but not everyone was invited to hear her answers.
The Vancouver South Tory candidate has been unavailable for interviews with CTV News since last week, when her Liberal opponents revealed she'd received a verbal endorsement from Ripudaman Singh Malik at a visit to the B.C. Khalsa School.
But Young did make a special appearance Tuesday in her living room to a small, select group of reporters, predominantly those from Chinese-language media.
"If I knew that he was there, I would not have attended, because obviously we have a zero tolerance towards terrorism," she told the journalists.
When it comes to larger forums, like an all-candidates debate on Sunday, Young has been a no-show, and her handlers have said all week that she's too busy to talk.
But she told the handful of reporters she invited into her home that she isn't trying to avoid the media.
"Now I'm having to run from media, that's what people say. I'm not running from the media, as you can see today. What I'm doing is, I need to get out there and meet with my constituents," Young said.
She also suggested that her chief opponent, Liberal Ujjal Dosanjh, helped five of her six siblings sue her in a dispute over their father's estate.
"I think it's a deliberate smear campaign ... to distract me from going out and meeting with the voters," Young said.
Dosanjh believes the entire Conservative campaign is being tightly controlled, especially when candidates are facing controversy.
"It's strange. It's important that we should speak to all Canadians, all constituents, in all languages," he said.
"I think in some ridings where they want to win the ridings and they have a candidate they can rely on to be appropriately eloquent, they allow those candidates to speak, until they get into trouble. Then you are barred from seeing them and that's what's happened."
He denies having anything to do with her siblings' lawsuit, filed three years ago.
"If I was the mastermind, I would have brought it up in 2008," Dosanjh said.
Young did not respond to requests for comment from CTV News Wednesday.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Peter Grainger