Maria Manna resigns as Liberal candidate after questioning 9-11

Liberal candidate Maria Manna dropped out of the federal election race in Cowichan-Malahat-Langford Monday after she called the official account of how the Twin Towers came down on 9-11 a lie.

“After stepping back and reflecting on recent events, I have decided to resign as the Liberal candidate for Cowichan–Malahat–Langford,” Manna said in an interview. “I’ve made the right decision and I stand by the Liberal Party. I still believe that’s the best party.

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“I fully support Justin Trudeau, the Liberal team, and the real change they are bringing to Canadians,” she added. “This election is far too important to have my past opinions and comments detract from that goal. I sincerely apologize to those I have offended.”

Manna is the latest casualty in an election that has seen candidates from various parties forced to resign, backtrack or apologize for opinions shared on social media.

On Friday, Manna tried to explain a Facebook post she made in September 2013. It talked about “a lie” in the

official accounts of how the buildings fell in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack on New York City.

“So today we remember the tragedy of 911. Today we will talk about who did it and why. Today most people will continue to believe the lie, and again, THEY continue to win. Thank God I know the truth! LOVE is the answer!!!” read the post. She wrote a similar post in 2010.

Over the weekend, Manna, who was acclaimed as the riding’s Liberal candidate, said she consulted her husband, campaign manager and close friends and decided to withdraw. She did so before today’s 2 p.m. deadline to file nomination papers for the election. That allowed Liberal Luke Krayenhoff enough time to get his papers into Elections Canada to run in the riding instead. Krayenhoff, president of Langham Court Theatre, lost the Liberal nomination in Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke to David Merner.

“It was really what I needed to do,” Manna said. “I feel so much richer with what I know now about politics.”

Manna said she formalized her view on 9-11 after she attended a forum by “architects and engineers” who presented theories that poked holes in the official accounts of how the towers fell. “And then I just said: ‘OK. I believe that it wasn’t just a plane that went through the building.’ And that’s my truth, and that’s OK.”

Manna, a stage performer and former private investigator, said she is inquisitive, but does not explore things once they have gone beyond her realm of understanding.

A so-called 9-11 truth movement disputes the official account of the attack. The “truthers” say there are significant inconsistencies in official explanations, suggesting a cover-up. Manna said she firmly believes that 9-11 was a terrorist attack against the United States.

“I didn’t go on thinking who did it, and why did they do it. I just didn’t believe that physically it could have happened … and then I moved on,” Manna said.

Manna, who does considerable charity work, said she became a candidate thinking she could better her community.

Soon after announcing she was stepping down, Manna was already plugging her next show, It’s Amore, a tribute to Italian-American music and comedy.

ceharnett@timescolonist.com

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