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Kallioinen out as Liberal candidate (updated at 5 p.m.)

18-year-old high school student out as candidate for Sault riding
20220510 Aiden Kallionen
Aidan Kallioinen of Espanola has appeared as a PolitiKIDS panelist on Sirius XM's Canada Talks channel.

High school student Aidan Kallioinen's run as Liberal candidate for the Sault Ste. Marie riding in the upcoming provincial election has come to an abrupt end. 

The Ontario Liberal Party has confirmed that 18-year-old is out of the running after being acclaimed candidate for the riding Monday night.  

Kallioinen, speaking with SooToday Tuesday afternoon, says his ousting as Liberal candidate began after an opinion piece accused him of participating in "Minecraft chats where there’s lots of jokes about people dying of AIDS." The opinion piece also references an Instagram handle that apparently belonged to Kallioinen.

The aspiring politician says both accusations regarding his online activity are false.     

“It was apparently some group of people I associated with in an online forum years ago that said some very derogatory things for which I had no control or involvement in. Nothing I said personally came to light," said Kallioinen. "It was a reporter, I believe in the Toronto Sun, who was a previous Liberal staffer and had some issues with the way we were nominating candidates and wanted another candidate to be nominated in the Sault.

“I don’t even know what to say to that. I have no personal involvement in it, so I can’t control what those people say, nor did I have any involvement. It’s come to light, and I’m still talking to members of the party about it and we’re going to sort it out however we can.”

Sault Ste. Marie lawyer Naomi Sayers' bid to run as the Liberal candidate was rejected by the Ontario Liberal Party in late April due in part to her social media activity.