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B.C. Liberal candidate quits over birth control, eugenics comments

Former Liberal leader Christy Clark, centre, and local candidates Laurie Throness, right, and John Martin look into a concrete culvert at Langley Concrete during the 2013 British Columbia election campaign in Chilliwack on Wednesday, April 17, 2013. Throness has announced he's quitting as a candidate in the Oct. 24 provincial election.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
October 15, 2020 - 4:30 PM

VANCOUVER - British Columbia Liberal Laurie Throness is quitting as a party candidate in the Oct. 24 provincial election after comparing free birth control to eugenics.

The NDP released a videotape in which Throness said at an all-candidates meeting Wednesday that the NDP promise to provide free contraceptives appears similar to past eugenics plans to stop poor people from having more children.

A statement from the Liberal party on Thursday says Throness has accepted that his comments were wrong and inappropriate.

The statement says it was clear that Throness could not be part of the B.C. Liberal team.

Throness, who was the member for Chilliwack-Kent in the last legislature, has been under fire in the past for telling the media he would continue to buy advertising in a Christian magazine that published articles supporting conversion therapy for LGBTQ people.

He was first elected in 2013.

Throness could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Liberals will be without a candidate in the riding as nominations closed on Oct. 2.

Elections BC could not immediately be reached on whether his name will still appear on the ballot.

The all-candidates meeting was held virtually, with eight candidates taking part in a video forum in which the moderator asks it is right for the government to provide free contraception to everyone.

Throness replied that he gets approached by people for medical expenditures a few times a day.

"I have no problem with contraception, it's not a moral issue to me. But to me, it would not rank as high on the priority list," he said.

"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.

"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."

He said that "contains an odour" he doesn't like and he doesn't support the New Democrat plan.

The B.C. Liberal statement says it's "dedicated to a diversity of perspectives, but all party members are dedicated to inclusiveness and equality — that is not up for debate."

This story was published by The Canadian Press on Oct. 15, 2020.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2020
The Canadian Press

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