The BC Liberals say seven expense payments made to Chilliwack-Kent candidate Laurie Throness after his resignation from the party are not controversial and simply amount to following through with a contractor.
Documents released on Monday from Elections BC include election financing reports for all candidates and parties in the 2020 provincial election.
The BC NDP issued a press release soon after questioning $18,804.20 in seven payments to the Throness campaign between Oct. 19 and Nov. 2. Throness was forced to resigned from the BC Liberals effective Oct. 15 after controversial comments were made, that leader Andrew Wilkinson called “not in keeping with the values of the BC Liberal Party or my own values.”
Specifically, Throness said providing free contraception to women had the “whiff of eugenics.”
“It’s troubling that the BC Liberals gave Laurie Throness more than $18,000 even after he quit as a candidate,” Chillwiack-Kent NDP MLA Kelli Paddon said. “His discriminatory beliefs are harmful to people and have no place in our politics. If the BC Liberals wanted to prove there’s no room for homophobia and sexism in their party, they shouldn’t have continued to quietly fund Laurie Throness’ campaign.”
But the BC Liberals say characterizing the payments as being made after Throness resigned is not accurate.
“The expenses were paid by the party on behalf of the campaign as these expenses were contractual agreements committed to while Laurie was still a BC Liberal candidate,” a spokesperson wrote via email. “The dates shown on the list are only a reflection of when the payments were issued and not the commitments that were made.”
Throness was among five candidates and one political party (Communist Party of BC) that “due to extenuating circumstances” were granted an extension to the filing deadline.
The have until Feb. 22 to file.
As for the local NDP election winners, both Paddon in Chilliwack-Kent and Dan Coulter in Chilliwack spent less than their counterparts.
Paddon spent just $2,770.23 compared to Independent Jason Lum who spent $18,013.74
In Chilliwack, BC Liberal John Martin spent $56,938.06 compared to BC Conservative Diane Janzen’s $23,357.53. Coulter won spending $6,211.34.
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