Harsha Walia: BCCLA director steps down after controversial tweet

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VANCOUVER —
The executive director of the B.C Civil Liberties Association has resigned following a controversial post on social media

Harsha Walia came under fire for a Tweet about the burning of two Roman Catholic churches after the discovery of what are believed to be unmarked graves at a former residential school in Kamloops, in which she added: “Burn it all down.”

Indigenous groups were among those who criticized Walia for encouraging violence though others, including the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, defended her stance.

The board of the civil liberties association says in a statement that Walia worked to strengthen the group’s policy positions, especially on policing, Indigenous self-determination and immigration.

It says Walia demonstrated a deep commitment to civil liberties and human rights and furthered the association’s work on equity, diversity and inclusion.

Walia recently called on the province to release details on the scope of policing powers involving COVID-19 travel restrictions within B.C., saying potential privacy issues were at stake for motorists who could be stopped and questioned.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 16, 2021.

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