B.C. Conservatives drop candidate over ‘insensitive and disrespectful’ comments about single mothers
For the second time in two days, the B.C. Conservative Party has removed a candidate over comments it considered unacceptable.
Mischa Popoff, who was running in Boundary-Similkameen, lost his position Thursday night after The Vancouver Sun revealed statements from him deriding the Missing Women Inquiry as a waste of time and criticizing single mothers for having children “without a man by their side.”
“Mr. Popoff’s various comments were insensitive and disrespectful, particularly to women and single mothers who are, in fact, heroes to their children and their communities in many cases,” said a party news release issued late Thursday.
“ We are a party that believes in a respectful airing of views. Mr. Popoff’s statements were unacceptable and he has been removed as a candidate.”
On Wednesday, Ian Tootill was booted as the Tory candidate in Vancouver-False Creek over comments he posted on social media. The Sun had reported earlier that on his Twitter account last October, Tootill asked: “Who’s really to blame? Hitler or the people who acted on his words?”
Popoff, nominated in March for the Okanagan riding, writes newspaper opinion pieces that appear regularly in Kelowna, Osoyoos and Vernon.
In March 2012, he wrote: “No one can blame a woman who experiences divorce or abandonment after having kids. The issue is with women who enter parenthood with their eyes wide open without a man by their side, either by using a man to get pregnant or through a sperm bank.”
“In either case, unless they’re very well off, the kids they bestow upon this world are headed for disaster. Why applaud, let alone condone this?”
On the Missing Women Inquiry, he wrote: “No one wants prostitutes to go missing. But guess what? They do, and no inquiry is going to change that.”
In February of this year, the Osoyoos Times quoted him as appearing to argue in favour of people having assault rifles.
“I hope you understand we don’t want just anyone to be able to buy a military grade assault rifle, but if trained to handle that, please tell me why is a policeman or a soldier any more qualified than you or me?”
In an interview Thursday, Popoff said the assault rifle comment was taken out of context, but that he stands by everything else he has said.
“In journalism, especially if you’re a columnist, you better be provocative or else you might as well write recipes or do the food column,” he said. “If you’re not provocative, why bother writing?”
The party identifies Popoff in his online bio as a columnist and author of the book, Is it Organic? as well as a policy adviser at The Heartland Institute, a non-profit research agency established in Chicago in 1984 that aims to develop and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems.
He’s also a research associate with The Frontier Centre for Public Policy, which describes itself as an independent Western Canada-based public policy think-tank.
On guns, Popoff said he was using an example of Switzerland — where he said every person goes through military training and is able to keep their rifle — as an example of why long guns should be acceptable in Canada.
“That was an explanation of how people in completely peaceful countries like Israel, Norway and Switzerland — you’re probably guaranteed there’s a military assault rifle in every home,” he said.
“I was just making that point, that we’re worried (in Canada) about the long guns that farmers and hunters already have in their homes,” he said, adding those weapons do not have the automatic capacity of assault rifles that can unload bullets in a steady stream.
Popoff stood by his comments on single mothers, saying he thinks women should be strongly discouraged from deliberately having children on their own.
“That’s proven disastrous through demographics,” he said.
“Rather than frown upon this or discourage it, it’s celebrated. The single mom is a hero and that gets dangerous, I think.”
On the Missing Women Inquiry, he said he believes judicial inquiries in Canada are “usually a waste of time.”
“Inquiries in Canada can go on for years,” he said, adding they are not allowed to assign blame.
“Give me a break. If there’s someone to blame then blame them.”
The B.C. Conservative Party did not respond to a request for comment. In March, when Popoff was nominated, leader John Cummins said Popoff and another candidate nominated on the same day, were “vitally interested in the future of our province, and they’ll be exceptional representatives for their constituents in Victoria.”
Boundary-Similkameen is held by former Liberal MLA John Slater, who is not running in the current election.
Here are excerpts of comments by Mischa Popoff:
Theresa Spence would in all likelihood face charges if it weren’t for the accident of her birth. She makes just under $70,000 a year, tax free, as chief of the Attawapiskat Indian reserve, she pays her boyfriend $850 a day, also tax free, to be Attawapiskat’s town manager, and between the two of them they can’t seem to account for the better part of a whopping $90 million that her reserve has received since 2006.
But, like a spoiled member of a public-service union to whom the rules don’t apply, Spence has decided to go on a fake hunger strike to draw attention to the plight of her people who, thanks in large part to her and her boyfriend, are forced to live in homes that should be condemned.
Kelowna Daily Courier, Jan. 21, 2013
I hope you understand we don’t want just anyone to be able to buy a military grade assault rifle, but if trained to handle that, please tell me why is a policeman or a soldier any more qualified than you or me?
Osoyoos Times, Feb. 14, 2013
This newspaper notwithstanding, most people in the media are reluctant to even entertain the possibility that single moms are anything less than saintly. Sure, some are. No one can blame a woman who experiences divorce or abandonment after having kids. The issue is with women who enter parenthood with their eyes wide open without a man by their side, either by using a man to get pregnant or through a sperm bank. In either case, unless they’re very well off, the kids they bestow upon this world are headed for disaster. Why applaud, let alone condone this?
Kelowna Daily Courier, March 26, 2012
No one wants prostitutes to go missing. But guess what? They do, and no inquiry is going to change that. There’s a lack of leadership on issues like this these days. Whether it’s the top-brass at the Vancouver police, politicians or a wide swath of people in the media, no one is willing to risk offending the swarm of publicly funded activists and say what needs to be said: prostitution is, by its very nature, a serious social problem.
Kelowna Daily Courier, Oct. 24, 2011
And so, I remain skeptical of Darwin’s theory. I believe it should be taught, but not as fact, and alternative theories should be taught alongside.
The Daily Courier (Vernon), Sept. 26, 2011