Andrew Wilkinson’s angry campaign rhetoric misses the mark

It’s the B.C. Liberals who are divisive, not Ravi Kahlon
Photo: Province of BC
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Andrew Wilkinson’s recent attack on an NDP MLA is unpardonable.

Although the B.C. Liberal leader has every right to criticize an elected official from an opposing camp, his depiction of Ravi Kahlon as someone who is “divisive” needs to be rebutted strongly.

While introducing the Liberal party candidate for North Delta, a riding currently held by the NDP’s Kahlon, Wilkinson described Kahlon as “an aggressive, angry, corrosive, divisive person in the legislature.”

From his perspective, most of the traits he attributed to Kahlon could be true, but any suggestion that Kahlon is divisive shows how out of touch Wilkinson is.

Kahlon, who has always stood against racism and crisscrossed the province in his past role as parliamentary secretary for multiculturalism to understand the gravity of growing bigotry in the province, cannot be branded as divisive. In fact, he was instrumental in the restoration of B.C. Human Rights Commission, which was dismantled by the Liberal government in 2002.

On the contrary, it’s the B.C. Liberal Party and some of its candidates who are divisive.

Look at Laurie Throness, Liberal candidate for Chilliwack-Kent, and Margaret Kunst, another party candidate from Langley. Both take regressive positions on LGBTQ+ rights — Throness believes in conversion therapy, while Kunst voted against rainbow crosswalk as a city councillor.

As if this was not enough, Surrey-Cloverdale Liberal candidate Marvin Hunt shared a highly insensitive cartoon on Facebook mocking Indigenous Peoples on Orange Shirt Day, when most people in Canada, including Kahlon, wore an orange shirt to show support for victims of residential schools who experienced bullying and abuse.

Look at Bruce Banman, a Liberal candidate for Abbotsford South, who labelled drug addicts as criminals back in 2012.

The Liberal candidate for the 2019 Nanaimo by-election, Tony Harris, once dressed up like racist U.S. President Donald Trump.

Wilkinson himself has shown his insensitivity to others by saying that victims of domestic violence are “people in a tough marriage.”

If we piece together all of this, his party doesn’t even reflect its name. In the current Trumpian political environment, Wilkinson needs to be more careful of his own actions and the actions of his party colleagues and candidates, as they sound much more divisive rather than Kahlon, a champion of diversity.

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