BC Liberals caught making sexist and disparaging remarks about opponent

BC Liberals are coming under fire after a leaked video shows party candidates, including leader Andrew Wilkinson, laughing as another candidate makes sexist and disparaging comments about NDP candidate Bowinn Ma.

“Bowinn is you know very pretty ady and uh she knows that she’s got it and um she knows how to get Ralph going,” Jane Thornthwaite, BC Liberal incumbent for North Vancouver-Seymour, can be heard saying on the video capture of a conference call featuring a number of her fellow candidates. 

“I go to an event and one of them was the [Capilano University] student Union luncheon and both Bowinn and Ralph were stuck on the couch together very close,” Thornthwaite can be heard saying. “Together for almost the entire time.”

“There [are] these big couches, but Ralph would be sitting on the middle of the couch and Bowinn would be right up right there and cuddling cuddling.” Thornthwaite says as other candidates, including leader Andrew Wilkinson, laugh. “Cuddling. Cuddling. Cuddling. Little bit of cleavage there. And Ralph would be enthralled.”

The video was sent to prominent Vancouver podcaster Mo Amir who hosts the “This is VANCOLOUR” podcast.

The condemnation for the BC Liberals’ conduct has been swift.

“As North Vancouver [school] trustee, I attended several events [with] Ralph Sultan where we sat closely to hear one another speak,” tweeted School Trustee in North Vancouver (SD44) Jessica Stanley. “He never sexualized anything about these conversations. Bowinn Ma may be friendly [and] kind, but she certainly does not sexualize conversations [with] others. This is gross.”

“The banality of everyday sexism —it’s just rare to have it recorded,” designer and film-maker Naomi Devine said. “That Wilkinson does nothing is so telling as a ‘leader’. That the woman who spends so much time comfortably purveying her gross point of view is also telling.”

“We teach our children to not be Jane Thornthwaite,” said education activist Cindy Dalglish. “We teach our kids not to stand idly by, Andrew Wilkinson.”

“But I truly don’t think you know why this was so wrong, Andrew Wilkinson.” adds Dalglish. “At least not until it’s pointed out to you. This is not leadership. At minimum, everyone laughing and participating in this meeting needs to apologize to Bowinn Ma.”

“This video is disgusting,” tweeted Scott Bernstein, drug policy advocate and BC Green Candidate for Vancouver-Kingsway. “BC Liberals should be ashamed to be associated with this kind of misogynistic tripe. Bowinn Ma is a hard-working and passionate advocate for what she believes in and doesn’t deserve this. No woman does.”