Ontario Tory candidate blames mental health for his ‘reckless’ behaviour

LONDON, Ont. — A Progressive Conservative candidate running in the Ontario election says years of struggling with mental illness were to blame for what he described as past “failings.”

In a statement posted on Twitter, Andrew Lawton said his battle with an unspecified mental illness spanned from 2005 to 2013.

“Simply put, I was reckless in almost all areas of my life: financially, socially, sexually, and vocationally,” said Lawton, who is running in the riding of London West. “There are significant chunks of this period that I do not remember.”

During that time, Lawton said he continued to be active on social media, “posting things that are so far removed from who I am and what I stand for that I can’t even fathom my frame of mind in writing them.”

Lawton said in his statement that he sought treatment in 2011, and called on voters to show him compassion and understanding, to not judge him by past mistakes and allow him to stay on board as a Tory candidate.

Critics have accused Lawton of expressing openly misogynistic, racist and homophobic views on social media posts and in his various jobs as a talk radio host and contributor to far-right Rebel Media.

Lawton is one of 11 candidates appointed by Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford to represent the party in the June 7 election.

The controversy comes just days after Ford dropped another candidate after homophobic statements were brought to light by the governing Liberals.

Tanya Granic Allen, a social conservative and outspoken opponent of the province’s sex education curriculum, was taken off the Tory ballot in Mississauga Centre on the weekend.

Granic Allen’s dismissal came just hours after the Liberals shared an edited video showing her discussing sex education in Croatia, saying that when she sees the country “trying to push radical sexualization on the young, or gay marriage, I almost vomit in disbelief.”

The former Tory leadership candidate called her removal another betrayal of social conservatives.

Just Posted

Cougar kills 1 mountain biker, injures 2nd near Seattle

NORTH BEND, Wash. — Two friends on a morning mountain bike ride… Continue reading

Red Deer’s indoor trampoline park announces closure

Citing mounting costs, Red Deer’s indoor trampoline park recently announced it was… Continue reading

WATCH: First Red Deer Market of the year

Hundreds came out to the first farmers market of 2018 Saturday

Bighorn Backcountry ATV users in wait-and-see mode on future of West Country access

As off-highway vehicle users started a summer of trail riding on the… Continue reading

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle wed in Windsor as millions watch

WINDSOR, England — Prince Harry and Meghan Markle gazed into each other’s… Continue reading

Red Deer Silhouettes prepare for year-end show

Synchronized swimming team will perform its last show this season May 30

Maduro favoured as Venezuelans vote amid crisis

CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is expected to win a… Continue reading

Family, friends recall shooting victims’ optimism, humour

SANTA FE, Texas — Hardworking. Funny. Loving. Grieving family and friends recalled… Continue reading

Record Everest climber returns, already planning next trip

KATHMANDU, Nepal — A veteran Sherpa guide who scaled Mount Everest for… Continue reading

WATCH: First Red Deer Market of the year

Hundreds came out to the first farmers market of 2018 Saturday

Canadian families among throngs of royal fans camping out for glimpse of newlyweds

WINDSOR, United Kingdom — Intense security measures, massive crowds, jet lag and… Continue reading

Swiss stun Canada, Sweden crushes US in ice hockey semis

COPENHAGEN — Switzerland stunned title favourite Canada 3-2 to reach only its… Continue reading

Cuba: 110 died in plane crash, 3 survivors ‘critical’

HAVANA — The only three survivors of Cuba’s worst aviation disaster in… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Lacrosse action heats up in Red Deer

More than 50 teams from across Alberta took part in the Tradition… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month