Kevin Falcon refuses to act as criticism of Merrifield mounts

In the face of mounting criticism from 2SLGBTQ+ advocates, BC Liberal Leader Kevin Falcon has refused to remove Renee Merrifield as his gender equity critic for endorsing transphobic statements and defending Jordan Peterson on social media.

Yesterday, Liza Yuzda at CityNews Vancouver reported that advocates were speaking out against Merrifield’s harmful views:

“To see an elected official retweeting really dangerous and damaging anti-trans messaging, it’s really terrifying. Somebody who’s an elected official, they have no excuse. This is not ignorance. I believe she’s testing the water.” –Travers, sociology professor at Simon Fraser University

“By 2023, people know well how Twitter works, so this doesn’t happen by accident. It says that this MLA is not an ally to the 2SLGBT community and in particular the trans community and would make you question what are the beliefs of the BC Liberal party.” –Kristopher Wells, Canada Research Chair for the public understanding of sexual and gender minority youth

“It really is a demonstration of where her thinking is. Public figures need to be careful of who they associate with and the kind of support they throw to other public figures because it does reflect back on them. Regardless of what she says in support of the community publicly, when she does something like this, it completely undermines all of that.” -Wilbur Turner, Advocacy Canada chair and resident of Merrifield’s constituency

Falcon told Vaughn Palmer on December 13th that he welcomes social conservatives like Merrifield: “It’s a big tent party. They’re allowed to have that voice and I want them to feel welcome.”

Kelli Paddon, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity:

“Under Kevin Falcon, BC Liberal MLAs are expressing more extreme and harmful views. By refusing to remove Merrifield as his Gender Equity spokesperson, Falcon is ignoring the voices of the 2SLGBTQ+ community and showing that he won’t stand up for people’s rights.”