BC United drops candidate over views on Gaza, 2SLGBTQ+

BC United leader Kevin Falcon has dropped Asad Gondal as one of his party’s candidates.

In a statement Tuesday, Falcon said that the candidate for Surrey North held views that were inconsistent with the party’s stance on the war in Gaza and support for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.

“Given Mr. Gondal’s decision to not adhere to the party’s position on these policies, I have terminated his candidacy effective immediately,” said Falcon.

Falcon claimed that Gondal had shared his views on a “correspondence” he signed on behalf of the BC Muslim Association (BCMA), prior to his nomination. 

A written statement by BC United Leader Kevin Falcon.
(Courtesy BC United)

“In light of those statements, I spoke with Mr. Gondal today to confirm his willingness to adhere to our party’s long-standing position on these issues. However, he informed me that he cannot change his values and principles, including disavowing earlier statements made while president of the BCMA.”

BC United candidate Caroline Elliott issued her own statement on the termination, saying she was “appalled” to read Gondal’s statements. 

“While I have long defended free speech — and even as I continue to vigorously defend it — there is a role for political parties to select candidates based on the degree to which they align with the party’s principles,” said Elliott. “A candidate rejected by one party is welcome to join another or even start their own.”

Elliott claimed that Gondal had referred to the war in Gaza as a “genocide” and advised “those who struggle with same-sex attractions” not to act on their “involuntary urges” and “repent.”

On Sunday, June 9, BC United posted a statement of praise for Gondal’s newly-announced candidacy, saying he “will undoubtedly pave the way for a brighter future for the community.” 

“I know that [Gondal] will champion the ideas and policies we need to fix the issues facing the people of British Columbia,” Falcon said, just two days before his Tuesday statement.

Stewart Prest, a lecturer in political science at UBC believes the move raises further questions about Falcon’s leadership.

“This is the latest blow in a series of blows to Falcon’s leadership of the party. We saw an incipient revolt, apparently underway with the recruitment and green-lighting of Gondal as a member of the party as a candidate for the party,” said Prest.

He compared the BC United party to a “boat that has sprung multiple leaks.”

“And this latest episode indicates that, whatever Mr. Falcon is doing to try to repair the damage, and then right the ship, it is not working yet — and it’s still taking on additional water in various ways,” said Prest.

Falcon closed his statement by accepting full responsibility and apologizing to anyone who may have been offended.

CityNews has reached out to Gondal for comment.

—With files from John Ackermann

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