Prospective candidate Aaron Gunn, a member of 'Canada Proud', has been rejected as a candidate for leader of the B.C. Liberal party.
After reviewing Gunn’s statements on social media, the party’s leadership election organizing committee concluded that “Gunn’s candidacy would be inconsistent with the B.C. Liberal party’s commitment to reconciliation, diversity and acceptance of all British Columbians.”
Gunn had announced his bid for leadership earlier this month.
The NDP accused Gunn of using “transphobic, racist and sexist rhetoric” on his social media with views including that systemic racism is “a myth” and “the gender pay gap doesn’t exist.”
More comments on his social media, including criticism of education around gender diversity, have been seen by some of his 80,000 Facebook followers and 500,000 YouTube subscribers.
“Governments are using taxpayer dollars to fund universities like UBC to indoctrinate the next generation with garbage like this,” Gunn tweeted.
Gunn described his outlook in an interview with Postmedia. “I consider myself a small ‘c’ conservative, a ‘blue conservative." “My political philosophy is lower taxes, less waste, smaller government and then just common-sense policies that do right by taxpayers.”
The committee’s recommendation to refuse Gunn’s application for candidacy was unanimously approved Friday by Liberal party executives.
Gunn responded to the party’s decision in a Tweet Friday: “Today, it became clear that conservatives, and all British Columbians who believe in common sense and freedom of speech, are no longer welcome in today’s B.C. Liberal party.”
Another prospective candidate for the leadership, MLA Ellis Ross, equally attacked the move, calling it "a step backward." Ross had previously defended his comptetitor, saying he should be allowed to run for the leadership.