Throness remains silent as Wilkinson avoids questions on MLA’s future in BC Liberal caucus

Yesterday, BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson dodged questions about whether MLA Laurie Throness would remain in the BC Liberal caucus.

Wilkinson was responding to a request from BC NDP MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert that Throness be removed after he defended an article supporting conversion therapy and defied Wilkinson’s direction to stop advertising in an anti-LGBTQ magazine. These recent comments follow years of anti-LGBTQ views from Throness, including opposition to SOGI and opposition to protecting gender identity and expression in the BC Human Rights Code.

Throness declined all comment. Andrew Wilkinson’s response lasted just 18 seconds, during which he refused to answer whether Throness would stay in the caucus.

CTV Anchor Mi-Jung Lee said “Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson took just one question from reporters and didn’t directly answer if he is comfortable with Throness as part of his team.”

News 1130 reporter Liza Yuzda wrote that Wilkinson “hasn’t said if any action will be taken.”

CKNW host Lynda Steele noted Wilkinson was “dodging the question” and said “we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”

The Vancouver Pride Society told Press Progress they were “shocked” that the BC Liberals had taken no action since Throness made his comments almost two weeks ago. Vancouver Pride Co-Chair Michelle Fortin noted that “it absolutely impacts their application [to Pride] next year.” The BC Liberals were banned from Pride in 2015 for refusing to sign a pledge supporting Trans rights.

“It’s been two weeks since Laurie Throness made these comments, and Andrew Wilkinson has still not addressed them properly,” says Chandra Herbert. “This MLA has been in the BC Liberal caucus for a long time, and I recognize that this is not an easy decision for Andrew Wilkinson.”

“But it’s time for Andrew Wilkinson to back up his words with action. If there is no room in the BC Liberals for homophobia and transphobia, he should remove this MLA today.”