You could be forgiven if you thought Laurie Throness had already left the BC Liberals behind. But a Dear John letter posted to his Facebook this weekend was the final goodbye.
On the first anniversary of the 2020 provincial election, Throness posted that he has asked the BC Liberals to cancel his party membership, which remained active even after he resigned as a candidate for the party during the 2020 Provincial Election.
Throness said he and other social conservatives feel unwelcome in the party, in part due to the party’s rejection of B.C. Proud spokesperson Aaron Gunn as candidate for party leader. Gunn has been quoted as saying he would welcome Throness back into the party even after the controversial remarks that prompted his resignation during last year’s provincial election.
“I find it stunning that the party would exclude social conservatives in the name of tolerance,” Throness stated. “Most of them are Christians. They are very fine, tolerant, law-abiding, taxpaying people; charitable pillars of their communities who also happen to be bound by their conscience to follow biblical teaching concerning human relationships in their own lives.”
During the 2020 election, Throness’s resignation as a BC Liberal candidate for the Chilliwack-Kent riding came amid controversial remarks on two equality issues during two separate all-candidates meetings less than two weeks before the election. In a meeting conducted for a business group, Throness compared free birth control to eugenics, and in a public online Chamber of Commerce meeting, he spoke about his views on conversion therapy and inclusion.
Throness said it is “heartbreaking purely in terms of tolerance” that the coalition of social liberals and conservatives within the party has, in his view, dissolved.
Though he then ran as an independent candidate, Throness’s name still appeared as a BC Liberal on the ballot as by that time early voting had already begun and it was too late to change the listing.
Throness lost the 2020 election by about 1,300 votes (just under six per cent of the total votes) to Chilliwack-Kent MLA Kelli Paddon of the NDP.
– With files from Jessica Peters