A BC Liberal candidate is facing criticism for a past comment related to author J.K. Rowling’s stance on the transgender community.
In a now-deleted Tweet, New Westminster candidate Lorraine Brett shared a link to Rowling’s blog, which has been criticized for being anti-trans, and described it as the author’s “best work.”
The famed author of the Harry Potter series took to her personal website in the summer to respond to a backlash triggered by remarks she made about the transgender community. In the post, she doubled down on previous comments, sharing her concerns about “new trans activism.”
Brett responded on Friday morning, saying she feels “it’s important to hear different ideas in a fair and open society.”
“The BC Liberals have been unequivocal in our support for the LBGTQ community and worked hard to advance an agenda that builds a better and more tolerant British Columbia. I am running as a BC Liberal because I share these views.”
Brett’s response came a day after Laurie Throness, the Liberal incumbent in Chilliwack-Kent, pulled out of the race after he made comments that compared an NDP plan for free birth control to eugenics.
Speaking to the media on Friday, NDP Leader John Horgan said Throness’ resignation came too late and exposed a failure of leadership within the BC Liberals.
“It does beg the question if Mr. Throness is inappropriate, as I believe he is, what about the anti-LGBTQ candidates that are on the Liberal ballot,” he said. “That seems to be the question that I think voters will be asking today.”
Earlier in the week, BC Liberal candidate Jane Thornthwaite faced criticism after a video emerged of her making a joke at the expense of an NDP rival widely criticized as sexist.
Earlier this month, BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson defended Margaret Kunst, the Liberal candidate in Langley East, who voted against a rainbow crosswalk in her community while she was a city councillor.
NDP candidate Selina Robinson said Friday that Wilkinson “needs to fire Margaret Kunst and Lorraine Brett today.”
BC Liberal membership chair Nicole Paul sent a series of tweets Thursday that questioned Wilkinson’s leadership.
“I continue to stand by the values of free enterprise that originally drew me to this party. The BC Liberal Party under Andrew Wilkinson does not reflect values I support,” she wrote.
“I am pleased to see Laurie Throness will no longer be a candidate or caucus member, this is action that any reasonable leader would have acted on months, if not years ago.”
— With files from Richard Zussman and Adam Wallis