Following historic vote in Ireland, Wilkinson’s B.C. Liberals continue to avoid support for a woman’s right to choose

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VICTORIA – “Just as Ireland is taking a huge step forward on a woman’s right to choose, B.C. Liberals want to take away that right”, said Mitzi Dean, MLA for Esquimalt-Metchosin and Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity.

This past weekend, when B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson was asked directly by columnist Vaughn Palmer “Is your party looking at changes on that issue,” Wilkinson refused to unequivocally state his party’s position on a woman’s current right to choose.

The interview with Wilkinson followed a recent event where B.C. Liberal MLAs attended and spoke at a rally calling for those rights to be taken away from women in B.C..

Then today, the B.C. Liberals again refused to state their position when responding to New Democrat MLA Mitzi Dean’s statement on “a woman’s right to choose” in the legislature.

Instead, B.C. Liberal MLA Donna Barnett spent an awkward 5 minutes avoiding the topic entirely, not even once mentioning a woman’s right to choose.

MLA Dean said in the legislature, “I notice that no member has stood up to actually defend women’s rights to choose and to have reproductive control.”

“To be honest, the B.C. Liberals should be ashamed of themselves,” said Dean.  “It’s particularly striking in light of the historic vote that just took place in Ireland.

“As that nation takes a monumental step forward, B.C. Liberals want to take women’s rights two steps back.”

Dean said the B.C. Liberal caucus later went into damage control mode – putting out a statement in an attempt to make the issue go away.

“The fact remains that B.C. Liberal MLAs are advocating for taking away a woman’s right to choose, and their leader, Andrew Wilkinson, is making excuses for them,” said Dean. “That is shameful, and not indicative of real leadership.”