BC Liberals won't explain why they edited clip of party leader crediting colonialism for bringing ‘opportunity’ to British Columbia
The BC Liberals quietly edited a video of party leader Andrew Wilkinson crediting European colonization for bringing “opportunity” to British Columbia in a newly released political ad.
In the ad, Wilkinson begins by making an otherwise uncontroversial statement:
“What a blessing it is to live in this place. It’s also been a place where you can get ahead, where there’s been opportunity.”
B.C. should be a place where anyone can succeed, build a life, and raise a family.
The @bcliberals believe in dignity, community, and belonging for all British Columbians, no matter where you live in our province or what you do for a living. #Opportunity4AllBC #bcpoli pic.twitter.com/2gRvARqehr
— Andrew Wilkinson (@Wilkinson4BC) November 25, 2019
Except, the BC Liberals appear to have taken their own leader out-of-context.
In fact, the political ad abruptly cuts Wilkinson off mid-sentence and switches to audio sourced from an entirely different segment of his speech, declaring that “all of us are in this together.”
In the full version of the speech, which is still publicly viewable on the BC Liberals’ Facebook page, Wilkinson actually said the following:
“What a blessing it is to live in this place. It’s also been a place where you can get ahead, where there’s been opportunity basically since European settlement started. And all of us think of it in those terms.”
The BC Liberal Press Office did not respond multiple requests for comment from PressProgress asking why the party selectively edited Wilkinson’s speech to omit the rest of his sentence crediting “European settlement” with bringing “opportunity” to British Columbia.
While Wilkinson may have rosy memories of “European settlement,” the province’s Indigenous populations likely remember things a little differently.
According to the Royal History Museum of BC, after European settlers began arriving in the province in the 1850s, it resulted in sharp declines in First Nations populations and the destruction of their traditional way of life.
First Nations peoples were also subject to dispossession of land, diseases and forced assimilation through residential schools as a result of European settlement in the lands that would be named British Columbia.
Over 200,000 Indigenous people currently live in BC.