Update: B.C. Liberal candidate Laurie Throness resigns after comparing free birth control to eugenics
Update: According to several news reports, B.C. Liberal canadidate for Chilliwack-Kent Laurie Throness has stepped down, following controversial remarks he made about birth control during a candidates forum.
CBC News reported that B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson made the announcement at a campaign stop in Coquitlam.
Wilkinson had previously stated on social media today that Throness' views were not aligned with the party's values. Wilkison has reportedly accepted Throness' resignation.
A B.C. Liberal candidate who had previously been the centre of controversy for his stance on LGBT issues is in hot water again—this time for his views on birth control.
On October 14, Laurie Throness participated in an all-candidates debate for the Chilliwack-Kent riding.
When he was asked what his views are on government providing free contraception to everyone, he said, in a video from the debate obtained by News 1130, he doesn’t have a problem with it but he also doesn’t consider it as much of a priority as other medical issues.
However, he added that he feels that free contraception “contains a whiff of the old eugenics thing where 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 odour that I don’t like and so I don’t really support what the NDP is doing there and that’s my answer.”
Eugenics refers to beliefs or practices that focus on selective reproduction by people with desired traits while excluding others in order to remove "inferior" or undesirable characteristics or diseases from human genes.
However, B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson denounced Throness’ views.
Wilkinson stated on social media today he supports free contraception from the government to anyone who wants it. He added that what Throness said “was wrong” and goes against his position as leader of the party, which he said he would make clear to Throness the next time they speak.
Selina Robinson, the B.C. NDP candidate for Coquitlam-Maillardville also condemned Throness’ views, calling them insulting and wrong.
This news follows a sexism controversy that arose this past weekend when a video surfaced on October 10 that showed Jane Thornthwaite, B.C. Liberal candidate for North Vancouver–Seymour, mocking Bowinn Ma, NDP candidate for North Vancouver–Lonsdale, and insinuating Ma used her looks for political gain.
Thornthwaite later apologized on social media and said she would be contacting Ma to apologize to her directly.
Meanwhile, Throness isn't any stranger to controversy as he previously sparked criticism when reports arose that the B.C. Liberals advertised in a conservative Christian lifestyle publication, which ran content supporting conversion therapy and views against SOGI resources in B.C. schools.
Although Wilkinson said there isn’t any room for anti-LGBT views in his party, Throness said he would continue to advertise in the publication.
In July, MLA Spencer Chandra-Herbert called for Throness to be removed from the B.C. Liberal caucus or from his role as opposition critic for the Ministry of Children and Families.
The Vancouver Pride Society had warned the B.C. Liberals that they would not be allowed to participate in the 2020 Pride parade if this action wasn’t taken.
As Throness was not removed, the party was banned from participating in this year’s virtual parade.