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Widespread reaction to BC Liberal ousting Chilliwack-Kent candidate for controversial comments

If Laurie Throness wins the riding, Andrew Wilkinson says he won’t be invited back: ‘Enough is enough’
Laurie Throness has resigned from the BC Liberal party for 2020 Provincial Election in the Chilliwack-Kent riding, according to BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson on Oct. 15, 2020.

A day after Laurie Throness was forced to resign from the BC Liberals for comments he made connecting contraception to eugenics, there has been widespread reaction.

Long known for controversial statements on the political right of the party, it was comments Throness made at a Rotary Club all-candidates zoom meeting about the NDP’s campaign promise of free birth control that triggered the move.

“It contains a whiff of the old eugenics thing where, you know, poor people shouldn’t have babies so, we can’t force people to have contraception so we’ll give it to them for free and maybe they will have fewer babies so there will be fewer poor people in the future,” Throness said.

The BC NDP issued a press release criticizing the comments with a link to the YouTube video of the meeting, and BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson responded promptly.

• READ MORE: UPDATE: BC Liberals cut ties with Chilliwack-Kent candidate Throness

“I phoned him up, it was a 30-second call,” Wilkinson said on CKNW radio Friday morning. “He resigned. I think that was the necessary result.”

Wilkinson said the BC Liberal is a big tent party with some core values, such as treating everybody equally with no discrimination.

“It became clear that he was not prepared to play on a team.”

In that same interview with Mike Smyth on CKNW Friday morning, Wilkinson was asked if the BC Liberals would invite Throness back if he wins the seat in Chilliwack-Kent.

“He’ll be sitting as an independent,” Wilkinson said. “Enough is enough.”

Why he was not removed sooner, is an open question.

Nicole Paul, membership chair for the BC Liberal Party, sent out a Tweet on Thursday critical of the fact that Throness remained in the party as long as he did.

“I have been fighting internally for the last 5 months at the board table saying that the views of Laurie Throness do not belong in our party,” she Tweeted, adding. “I am pleased to see Laurie Throness will no longer be a candidate or caucus member, this is action that any reasonable leader would have acted on months, if not years, ago.”

Elections BC confirmed that the move to resign from the BC Liberal Party comes too late to remove Throness from the ballot. His name will continue to appear on the ballot with BC Liberal next to his name.

Several of his staunch supporters are saying on social media that Throness will still get their vote.

The NDP are not done with the campaign to oust BC Liberal candidates who hold controversial views.

New Democrats have targeted Margaret Kunst in Langley East who voted against a rainbow crosswalk, and Lorraine Brett in New Westminster who Tweeted allegedly transphobic material online.

NDP candidate Selina Robinson was scheduled to speak to the matter Friday morning in a media appearance.

“The BC Liberals don’t have a Laurie Throness problem,” she said in a statement. “They have a much deeper problem with sexism, homophobia, and transphobia. Andrew Wilkinson has completely failed as a leader by permitting these hateful views in his party. He can’t say there is no room for discrimination while continuing to tolerate hate in his own team of candidates. He needs to fire Margaret Kunst and Lorraine Brett today.”

Throness told The Progress he would be issuing a statement about the matter, but by 11:30 a.m. on Friday he had not done so.

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