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BC Liberal MLA apologizes after comparing farming bill to the Holocaust

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Eric Zimmer May 03, 2019 10:29 am

After comparing a farm bill to the Holocaust this week, BC Liberal MLA Rich Coleman is apologizing for his comments, amidst backlash from political opponents, as well as the public.

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Coleman was speaking about a bill that was introduced by the NDP known as Bill 15 and is centred around the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC).

On Thursday, May 2 – which was Yom Hashoah, also called Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel – Coleman said during debate period that he found it “difficult” to talk about the bill.

“I’ve been here for 23 years, and I’ve never seen a more bigoted piece of legislation come before this house,” he said. “The fact that you take away people as people, and they’re no longer persons in a piece of legislation.”

Particularly, he continued, “on a day like today when we witness people whose rights were taken away from them in the 1940s.”

In response, Housing Minister Selina Robinson tweeted that she couldn’t believe what she had just heard in the Legislature.

Following the backlash, Coleman apologized for his words in two tweets.

He also shared a Facebook post, in which he wrote that he “will always support the Jewish people and fight prejudice in any form. Anti Semitism has no place in any society.”

BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson released a statement about the incident as well, but didn’t call out Coleman directly.

“The Holocaust is a black mark on human history, representing an evil that must be recognized by us all,” he said. “Drawing parallels between discriminatory legislation and the Holocaust is absolutely inappropriate and on behalf of the BC Liberal Caucus, we reject any comparisons.

Wilkinson added that his party strongly stands behind the Jewish community.

“Especially in light of recent tragedies, we must all be vigilant with our language and actions in a collective effort to stand up to bigotry, hatred, and antisemitism in all forms,” he said.

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