One day after he resigned as the BC Liberal candidate in the riding of Chilliwack-Kent, Laurie Throness announced on Friday that he still intends to run in the BC election – but as an Independent now.
“As MLA I have always sought to speak from my heart and my conscience,” Throness said in a statement. “Now, a great many have reached out with messages of support, urging me to continue to do that.”
Chilliwack-Kent voters, he continued “deserve a viable small ‘c’ conservative MLA who is unafraid of the freedoms of speech and religion, who embraces the thousands of social conservatives in this riding as well as social liberals, and who advocates for free-market and affordable government solutions to public policy issues.”
As such, Throness said he will continue his campaign.
“I am still on the ballot as a BC Liberal. I will inform voters that if they vote for me, I will sit as an Independent in the House and continue to speak from my heart and my conscience,” he said. “I’m in it to win it.”
Throness stepped down on as a Liberal candidate on Thursday, after coming under fire for comments he made comparing free contraception to eugenics.
He made the comments while weighing in on the BC NDP’s plan to provide free contraception during an all-candidates debate in his riding this week.
“The other thing that I feel about this is that it contains a whiff of the old eugenics thing where, you know, poor people shouldn’t have babies,” he said. “And so we can’t force them to have contraception, so we’ll give it to them for free. And maybe they’ll have fewer babies. So there will be fewer poor people in the future.”
“[This] contains an odour that I don’t like. And so I don’t really support what the NDP is doing there.”
In his statement on Friday, Throness said he “used an incorrect word” to explain his concerns about the NDP’s plan.
“I want to apologize to all concerned for the damage done to my MLA colleagues and the Leader,” he stated.
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Throness has previously come under fire for his anti-LGBTQ views.
Earlier this year, he was the subject of a letter written to Wilkinson by NDP MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert, who previously called out the party’s advertising in a magazine that promoted pro-conversion therapy beliefs.
Throness, who served as the Official Opposition Critic for Children and Family Development, was one of 14 BC Liberal MLAs that expensed taxpayer dollars over the past 18 months on ads in a self-described “Christian lifestyle magazine” called The Light Magazine.
“Your critic for the Ministry of Children and Families Laurie Throness went to media and insisted he will not stop advertising in this homophobic magazine,” Chandra Herbert wrote.
“He then defended an article supporting conversion therapy as long as it didn’t include kidnapping or was too ‘coercive.’”
“Sit on that for a second,” he wrote. “The MLA you’ve put in charge of child care and supporting vulnerable children believes there is a place for conversion therapy.”
BC voters head to the polls on October 24.