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BC Liberal candidate resigns after comparing free birth control to eugenics

A BC Liberal candidate in Chilliwack-Kent will no longer be representing the party in the current election, after being blasted for comments comparing birth control to eugenics.

Laurie Throness, running for re-election in Chilliwack-Kent, resigned from representing the party Thursday (Oct. 15), shortly after BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson publicly denounced the comments.

Throness made the concerning comments on Wednesday, during a private all-candidates meeting that was held via Zoom.

The BC NDP are planning to provide free contraception if they gain power again. In the meeting, Throness first said that he didn’t agree that it should be prioritized over other medical costs, such as surgery. But then he went on to answer further.

“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,” he said. “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.”

A video clip was sent out to media on Thursday with a video clip from that meeting, without identifying who was facilitating the meeting.

It prompted a swift, public reply from the party leader, posted on Twitter.

“Let’s be clear, I support government providing free contraception to anyone in B.C who wants it,” Wilkinson tweeted. “What Laurie Throness said was wrong and against my position as leader of this party. I will be making this very clear to Laurie when we next speak.”

Selina Robinson, BC NDP candidate Coquitlam-Maillardville, expressed outrage about the comments on Thursday, pointing to what she said is how out of touch Throness and BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson are.

“To suggest somehow that giving people a choice to use contraception and that somehow making it free smacks of eugenics is from another century it is so disrespectful for women that I’m outraged,” Robinson said in response to a question from Black Press. “I feel like I cant even contain my outrage.”

Asked if she shouldn’t just let the voters of Chilliwack-Kent decide rather than demanding Throness be removed from the ballot, Robinson said the voters will decide.

“But at the same time, Mr. Wilkinson is saying that is perfectly acceptable for people with these kinds of beliefs to sit around the table. He’s the one saying it is welcome and that I find really challenging.”

READ MORE: Throness defends himself on conversion therapy during Chilliwack-Kent meeting

READ MORE: B.C. NDPs free birth control pledge a win for equality, will pay for itself: advocates


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jpeters@theprogress.com

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Jessica Peters

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