VANCOUVER — A Liberal candidate who suggested it’s okay for kids to be in a house with marijuana and endorsed the view that pot use can decrease domestic violence has quit as a candidate for the party.
But a separate Liberal candidate, whose foul-mouthed tweets attracted online criticism, remains in the fold after a contrite apology in which he blamed alcohol for his social media outbursts.
The Liberal party announced Thursday afternoon that Joy Davies had resigned as the party’s flag bearer in South Surrey-White Rock, hours after her comments came to light.
“Ms. Davies’ views in no way reflect the values or policies of the Liberal Party of Canada,” the party said in a statement, adding that a new candidate would be nominated “in due course.”
In her own Facebook posting, Davies said she stepped aside “after much consideration.”
“I believe in the work that the Liberal team is doing and my personal opinion and past comments should not distract from what is most important right now — ensuring all Canadians receive the real change and new leadership they deserve,” she said.
Earlier in the day, Trudeau, whose party supports the legalization of marijuana, sought to distance himself from Davies, declaring that the position of the Liberal party was on pot was “clear.”
“We need to control and regulate marijuana in order to protect out kids,” Trudeau said.
“The views expressed by the individual in question do not reflect the views of the Liberal party of Canada and do not reflect my personal views,” Trudeau said during a campaign stop here.
In a series of Facebook postings, first highlighted by the Huffington Post, Davies spoke out on marijuana use.
In a 2014 Facebook posting she wrote, “In a nutshell, more pot = less domestic violence in married couples. Put another way, cannabis prohibition may have the affect of increasing domestic violence.”
She was commenting on a scientific study that found married couples who use marijuana had fewer reports of domestic violence.
A year earlier, she suggested that marijuana posed no threat to children.
“There is NO HARM in our children being in a home where cannabis is growing. The fact that law enforcement and government rip children out of the arms of their parents that grow pot is the HARM. This MUST STOP!!!” Davies wrote.
Trudeau defended the Liberal position on pot and said the status quo was doing little to safeguard children.
“Mr. Harper’s current approach is not protecting our children,” Trudeau said.
“Not only is it easier for young people to buy a joint than it is to buy cigarettes or alcohol, we’re actually continuing to fund criminal organizations, street gangs and gun runners with the continued black market around marijuana,” he said.
However, the party stuck by Chris Brown, the Liberal candidate in Peace River–Westlock, despite profane Twitter postings in 2009 littered with swear words, “bitch” and “whore.”
Later Thursday, Brown issued an apology on his website, calling his comments “inappropriate.”
He said at the time he made the postings, he had just lost his partner in a car accident.
“This emotional anguish led to an alcohol dependency problem and a complete lack of judgment when posting on social media,” Brown said, adding that he has since “moved forward.”
Trudeau said later that the party had accepted Brown’s “heartfelt” apology.