B.C. Liberal leader admits he 'got it wrong' with comments about domestic violence
Andrew Wilkinson described victims as 'people who are in a tough marriage' in radio interview
B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson has admitted he was wrong when he referred to victims of domestic violence as "people who are in a tough marriage."
The opposition politician expressed regret for his comment in a tweet Wednesday afternoon.
"This was the wrong choice of words and I got it wrong. Victims of domestic violence need their voices heard and our unwavering support, and I want everyone to know they have that with me," Wilkinson said.
The original comment came during an interview on Surrey's Red FM radio, in which Wilkinson expressed disappointment about Tuesday's speech from the throne.
He told the host the NDP government had "offered nothing for the future" in the speech.
"They talked about guns in hospitals, which nobody has ever heard of, they talked about rural policing, they talk about five days' pay for people who are in a tough marriage, and that's it," Wilkinson said.
The throne speech had included a promise of updated legislation that will give people fleeing domestic violence up to five days of paid leave from work.
Listen: Andrew Wilkinson's comments on domestic violence
Wilkinson's comments prompted an outcry from advocates for victims of violence and from the provincial NDP.
"We beg you to get informed as domestic and sexual violence occurs upwards of 60,000 times a year in B.C. alone and deeply affects whole families," the Ending Violence Association of B.C. said in a tweet.
Wow. This morning, Andrew Wilkinson described people experiencing domestic and sexual violence as "people who are in a tough marriage."<br> <br>These comments dismiss the devastating violence that too many people face every day. He should know better.<br> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/bcpoli?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#bcpoli</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/morethanatoughmarriage?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#morethanatoughmarriage</a> <a href="https://t.co/rC4UKGf5gh">pic.twitter.com/rC4UKGf5gh</a>—@MitziDeanBC
When asked to respond to Wilkinson's words, Premier John Horgan told reporters, "I can't even imagine a man in 2020 … thinking that, much less articulating that and I don't have really anything more to say."