BC Liberal candidate Laurie Throness quits party

NDP demands Langley East candidate Margaret Kunst also be fired; BC Greens slam Wilkinson

BC Liberal candidate Laurie Throness, who was running for re-election in the riding of Chilliwack-Kent, after discussions with BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson on Thursday, announced he is stepping down as a candidate in the upcoming provincial election.

Earlier, the NDP had announced in a press release that in a candidates debate on Wednesday, Throness weighed in on their party’s plan to provide free contraception and compared contraception to eugenics: “And the other thing that I feel about this is that it contains a whiff of the old eugenics thing where, you know, poor people shouldn’t have babies. And so we can’t force them to have contraception so we’ll give it to them for free. And maybe they’ll have fewer babies. So there will be fewer poor people in the future. And to me, that contains an odor that I don’t like. And so I don’t really support what the NDP is doing there.” 

(Video of the comments is available at 6:23 here.)

Wilkinson later issued this statement: “Earlier today, I spoke with Laurie Throness. He accepted that his comments were wrong and inappropriate, and I’ve accepted his offer to resign as the candidate for Chilliwack-Kent.

“The BC Liberal Party is dedicated to a diversity of perspectives, but all party members must be dedicated to inclusion and equality – that is not up for debate.

“We’ll continue to move forward with the rest of our team and continue to work hard to earn each and every vote.”

 However, Throness’ name will still be listed on the ballot as a B.C. Liberal candidate.

MEANWHILE, the NDP in a press statement pointed out: “Andrew Wilkinson just fired anti-LGBTQ candidate Laurie Throness after defending him for weeks. But Andrew Wilkinson has also defended Langley East candidate Margaret Kunst, who voted against a rainbow crosswalk just three weeks ago.

“Kunst and Wilkinson claimed the vote was a “process” vote. That was a lie. It was later revealed that Kunst promised homophobic group ARPA in 2018 that she would vote against rainbow crosswalks. She voted against a pride crosswalk and she was caught lying about the reasons for it.

“If Laurie Throness can’t be a candidate for the BC Liberals, why does Wilkinson still endorse Kunst?”

THE BC Green Party Leader noted: “Today, after a growing number of controversies throughout this election, and in the BC Legislature over the past several years, BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson accepted Laurie Throness’s resignation.”

Party leader Sonia Furstenau said: “Andrew Wilkinson’s approach to this entire controversy sends entirely the wrong message. Only when the party was backed into a corner did they take the weakest of actions: accepting Laurie Throness’s resignation. He should have been expelled from the BC Liberal Party.

“Our province needs to take more action on equity, diversity, and inclusion. There are too many people who do not see themselves or their values reflected in elected leadership, and so feel left behind in decisions about their health and well-being. 

“If we are to change that, we need to stand up to hate and intolerance wherever we see it, and we must do so with a sense of urgency not yet demonstrated by the BC Liberals. 

“Going into the next legislature, it will be incumbent upon all those elected to take decisive action on human rights. A good place to start would be for the BC Liberals and the BC NDP to  finally agree to pass a provincial ban on conversion therapy. 

“As Leader of the BC Greens, I am proud to lead a party that is deeply committed to protecting the rights of all British Columbians. 

“British Columbians can count on the BC Greens to continue bringing these issues forward at every opportunity.”

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