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Former BC Liberal candidate Laurie Throness running as independent

Last Updated Oct 16, 2020 at 8:53 pm PST

FILE - BC Liberal Party candidate Laurie Throness. (Courtesy Facebook/Laurie Throness)
Summary

Former BC Liberal candidate Laurie Throness has apologized for his eugenics comments

Throness said Friday he will run as an independent in the Oct. 24 provincial election

Throness says voters deserve a viable conservative MLA who is 'unafraid of the freedoms of speech and religion.'

CHILLIWACK (NEWS 1130) — Former BC Liberal candidate Laurie Throness has apologized for his eugenics comments earlier this week and will run as an independent.

“This week I used an incorrect word to explain my concerns about an NDP platform proposal to provide free contraception,” Throness, a candidate in the Chilliwack-Kent riding, says in a Facebook post on Friday.

Statement by Laurie ThronessThis week I used an incorrect word to explain my concerns about an NDP platform proposal…

Posted by Laurie Throness on Friday, October 16, 2020

“I want to apologize to all concerned for the damage done to my MLA colleagues and the leader. Andrew Wilkinson is a good man who has dealt kindly with me on a personal basis throughout the summer and even yesterday. He should be our premier.”

Voters deserve a viable conservative MLA who is “unafraid of the freedoms of speech and religion,” he adds.

“As MLA I have always sought to speak from my heart and my conscience. Now, a great many have reached out with messages of support, urging me to continue to do that. It is vital to deliver our riding for free enterprise.”

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Throness is still on the ballot as a BC Liberal

“I will inform voters that if they vote for me, I will sit as an independent in the house and continue to speak from my heart and my conscience,” he said. “I’m in it to win it.”

Throness resigned from the Liberal caucus Thursday after he said at an all-candidates’ meeting that the NDP’s free birth control plan has “a whiff of the old eugenics.”

His comment was criticized by advocates, including those with Options for Sexual Health, as well as by candidates in opposing parties, and the Liberals.

Jas Johal, Liberal candidate in Richmond-Queensborough, called Throness’ comments are appalling.

“They don’t represent BC Liberal values. I support investing in women’s health, including free contraception. I’m proud to have played a role in making sure greater access to IVF was included in our platform,” he says in a tweet.

Selina Robinson, a BC NDP candidate who’s a licensed family therapist, demanded Wilkinson immediately kick Throness off his team.

Throness began his political career with former BC Social Credit Party (Socred) cabinet minister Harvey Schroeder more than 35 years ago. Ten years later, he went to Ottawa to work for Reform MP Chuck Strahl.

Throness was elected as an MLA in 2013 and again in 2017.

–with files from Hana Mae Nassar, Jim Bennie, Liza Yuzda, and Lisa Steacy.