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B.C. Liberal leader says he was wrong calling domestic violence 'a tough marriage'

Last Updated Feb 13, 2020 at 7:18 am PDT

FILE: Andrew Wilkinson delivers a keynote speech at the B.C. Liberals annual convention. (Screengrab, Facebook)

BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson caught some heat online for characterizing domestic violence as 'a tough marriage'

Several advocates spoke up about his remarks including the organization End Violence BC

Wilkinson said he used the 'wrong choice of words'

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson has offered an apology of sorts after referring to victims of domestic violence as people who are in a “tough marriage.”

“This was the wrong choice of words and I got it wrong,” Wilkinson tweeted. “Victims of domestic violence need their voices heard and our unwavering support, and I want everyone to know they have that with me.”

The quickly condemned comment was made on a radio show on Wednesday. Wilkinson was criticizing Tuesday’s NDP Throne Speech, which includes a promise to give workers fleeing domestic violence paid leave for up to five days. The Opposition Leader called it paid leave for people who are in a “tough marriage.”

Reaction was swift, with MLA Mitzi Dean saying Wilkinson should know better and Ending Violence BC saying domestic and sexual violence is much more than a tough marriage.

“Between the years 2010 and 2015, 100 people died as a result of domestic violence in BC,” Ending Violence BC further said on Facebook. “It’s much more than a “tough marriage” as BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson suggested this morning.”

Despite walking back the blunder, some are suggesting Wilkinson said what he meant, with one person on Twitter saying “Wrong choice of words? This was actually a very REVEALING choice of words sir” and another saying “No, you said what you felt.”

Wilkinson also caught some heat last year for saying B.C.’s challenging rental situation was “part of growing up” and a “wacky time of life.”