Cowichan NDP hopeful Collins withdraws citing sexism, harassment

Georgia Collins is withdrawing from the race to replace Bill Routley as the NDP candidate for Cowichan Valley.

Georgia Collins is withdrawing from the race to replace Bill Routley as the NDP candidate for Cowichan Valley.

She announced the decision on her Facebook page Dec. 28, more than hinting she had been shoved from the track after two years of effort.

“I wish I could say that my decision is unrelated to sexism and harassment that I experienced during my campaign, but that would be untrue. I wish I could say that I was not disappointed by the party‚Äôs capacity to respond to such concerns, but that would also be untrue.

“Thank you to everyone who has supported me and to everyone who chooses to speak out about their experiences, despite pressure from people to stay silent and despite lawyers being marshalled to threaten expensive lawsuits. Your voices lift us all. In this case, however, I feel stepping away from the campaign is the decision I need to make for my well-being and for my children.” she said, without giving further details.

Collins went on to express dismay at her party’s apparent unwillingness to change.

“The status quo, it seems, carries on even in places you least expect it,” she concluded.

“Looking back on the campaign and the political process generally, partisan politics can cause people to say things about each other that might otherwise be said more charitably or with more understanding. In so many cases, it seems to me there is a better way than the current partisan process to move what is really at issue forward in a positive and productive way. Empathy and equanimity are key. I am resolute in my belief that there is a better way to do politics and I look forward to continuing to work within and for my community toward a better future for all.”