New Democrats call on B.C. Liberals to denounce trustee’s hateful comments

VICTORIA – New Democrat MLA for Delta-North Ravi Kahlon is calling on the B.C. Liberals to denounce ongoing hateful comments made by Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld.

Despite facing criticism from the New Democrats and public over earlier offensive comments regarding B.C.’s implementation of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity resources (SOGI123), Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld took to social media again this week to assert government is trying to place kids in homes “where they will be encouraged to explore homosexuality and gender fluidity.”

“As a public trustee elected to improve student achievement, Barry Neufeld’s comments are totally inappropriate,” said Kahlon.  “It’s wrong to hatemonger and spread intolerance based on sexuality and gender identification.  The fact that he has support from elected MLAs like those in the B.C. Liberal caucus is even more concerning.”

“The B.C. Liberals should be denouncing hateful comments like Neufeld’s, not making excuses for him.”

In October of this year, Neufeld also wrote a post on social media in which he argued “allowing little children to choose their gender is nothing short of abuse”.  While many have called for Neufeld to resign from his position of leadership within the Chilliwack school district, B.C. Liberal Laurie Throness, MLA for Chilliwack-Kent and Official Opposition critic for Children and Families defended the trustee, issuing a tweet of support.  “Trustee Barry Neufeld is a good man, loves children, would never countenance bullying.  He deserves to be treated with respect and kindness.”

Kahlon noted that Throness is part of Andrew Wilkinson’s B.C. Liberal leadership campaign, officially endorsing Wilkinson on his campaign website.

“Is Andrew Wilkinson okay to have those views tied to his campaign? Does he share the same views as Barry Neufeld and Laurie Throness?” asked Kahlon.

“I’m proud to represent a government that supports the LGBTQ community and human rights.  We know the difference resources like SOGI 123 can make for kids throughout the province and we will continue to fight against discrimination.  Inclusivity is an important aspect of building a better BC for everyone,” said Kahlon