Laurie Throness has resigned from the BC Liberal party for 2020 Provincial Election in the Chilliwack-Kent riding, according to BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson on Oct. 15, 2020. He will continue to fight in this election as an Independent candidate.

Laurie Throness has resigned from the BC Liberal party for 2020 Provincial Election in the Chilliwack-Kent riding, according to BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson on Oct. 15, 2020. He will continue to fight in this election as an Independent candidate.

Ex-Liberal Throness presses on as an Independent

Former Liberal MLA resigned from party amid scandalous remarks during meeting

Nearly 24 hours after being ousted from the B.C. Liberals, Chilliwack-Kent MLA Laurie Throness broke his silence and said he will continue to seek re-election as an Independent candidate.

Throness said his comment comparing free birth control to eugenics amounted to the use of an incorrect word.

“I want to apologize to all concerned for the damage done to my MLA colleagues and the Leader,” Throness said in a statement issued early Friday (October 16) afternoon. “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.”

RELATED: Widespread reaction to BC Liberal ousting Chilliwack-Kent candidate for controversial comments

Throness’s latest controversial statement came from a Rotary Club all-candidates Zoom meeting in which he was expressing his concerns with the NDP’s position on birth control.

“It contains a whiff of the old eugenics thing where, you know, poor people shouldn’t have babies so, we can’t force people to have contraception so we’ll give it to them for free and maybe they will have fewer babies so there will be fewer poor people in the future,” he said in the video.

During a radio interview with Mike Smyth on CKNW radio on Friday morning, Wilkinson said his exchange with Throness was a 30-second phone call during which he accepted Throness’s resignation as Liberal candidate.

“It became clear that he was not prepared to play on a team,” Wilkinson said. He confirmed that if Throness won the Chilliwack-Kent riding, he would do so as an Independent.

“Enough is enough,” the Liberal leader concluded.

Wilkinson delivered a formal statement on Thursday, October 15, a day after the controversy emerged.

“Yesterday, Mr. Laurie Throness made statements that are not in keeping with the value of the B.C. Liberal Party or my own values,” Wilkinson said. “I therefore have accepted Laurie Throness’s resignation as a candidate for the B.C. Liberal Party in the upcoming election and we will move forward without him as a candidate.”

RELATED: BC Liberals cut ties with Chilliwack-Kent candidate Throness

The Liberal Party released a similar statement soon after, saying that “Laurie Throness has accepted that his comments were wrong and inappropriate.”

“It was clear that he couldn’t continue to be part of the B.C. Liberal team,” the party statement reads. “The B.C. Liberal Party is dedicated to a diversity of perspectives, but all party members are dedicated to inclusiveness and equality – that is not up for debate.”

During the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce all-candidates debate on Wednesday (October 14) evening, Throness clarified his position on conversion therapy and inclusion during his opening remarks, vehemently opposed to his opponents painting him as a strong advocate for conversion therapy.

“That’s just wrong,” Throness said of the allegations. “In fact, I’ve never made a statement about conversion therapy, and I decry and oppose any course of practice to change another’s identity.” Throness went on to use his opening statement to tout his championing of “the dignity and worth of every British Columbian.”

Spurred on by “messages of support” amid the backlash he’s recently faced, Throness went on to say that “Chilliwack-Kent voters deserve a viable small ‘c’ conservative MLA who is unafraid of the freedoms of speech and religion, who embraces the thousands of social conservatives in this riding as well as social liberals.”

Statement by Laurie Throness

This 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 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,” Throness concluded. “I’m in it to win it.”

Though he is currently listed on the ballot as a Liberal, if elected again, Throness would technically be the first Independent MLA in Chilliwack-Kent riding history. Chilliwack city Councillor Jason Lum is also running as Independent.

More to come.


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
news@ahobserver.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

agassizBC politicsBC Votes 2020chilliwackHarrison Hot Springs

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Metro Creative)
Hope residents invited to join in Earth Day clean-up event

From dead batteries to flat tires, volunteers ready to sort and recycle

Chilliwack had 130 COVID cases in the latest report from the BC Centre for Disease Control, covering the period of April 4 to 10. (BCCDC graphic)
Chilliwack COVID case count rises sharply in latest report from BC Centre for Disease Control

Just about everything west of Chilliwack is struggling badly, and we’re not doing well either

Japanese Canadian citizens being transferred into waiting trucks outside Hope Station House. NNMCC L2021-2-1-004. Photographs courtesy of the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre
Fight continues for historic Hope Station House

Ombudsman report and stop work order come alongside district’s move to remove heritage status

web
Fire breaks out inside Mission Walmart

Customers, staff evacuated as firefighters investigate

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Premier John Horgan booked to get AstraZeneca shot Friday

‘Let’s show all British Columbians that the best vaccine is the one that’s available to you now,’ he said

Doses of the Moderna COVID‑19 vaccine in a freezer trailer, to be transported to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canada’s incoming supply of Moderna vaccine slashed in half through end of April

Moderna plans to ship 650,000 doses of its vaccine to Canada by the end of the month, instead of the expected 1.2 million

Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks about the province’s COVID-19 vaccine plans during a news conference at the legislature in Victoria. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
P.1 variant likely highest in B.C. due to more testing for it: Dr. Henry

Overall, just under 60% of new daily cases in the province involve variants

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

Dr. Bonnie Henry – in a B.C. health order that went into effect April 12 – granted WorkSafe inspectors the power to enforce workplace closures with COVID-19 spread. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
24 workplace closures being enforced in Fraser Health under new COVID-19 order

WorkSafe inspectors the power to enforce closures if COVID-19 has spread to 3 or more employees

Maple Ridge Fire and Rescue were conducting training operations at Gold Creek Falls when a firefighter broke their leg. (Eileen Robinson photo - Special to The News)
Firefighter suffers broken leg during swift water rescue practice in Golden Ears park

A training exercise at Maple Ridge waterfall on Wedesday results in mishap

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 91, is disappointed the Legion does not qualify for COVID financial assistance from the provincial government. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C.’s pandemic aid package passing Legion branches by

Federal non-profit status stymies provincial assistance eligibility

Most Read