Kelowna MLA's office says contractor to blame for now-deleted retweet

MLA's retweet draws fire

Kelowna-Mission MLA Renee Merrifield is once again being called out for her Twitter activity.

Merrifield's account retweeted a post by current 2024 U.S. presidential candidate and anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist Robert F. Kennedy Jr., which claimed that journalists were “slavish government propagandists during Covid.”

The retweet has since been deleted.

But not before it caught the attention of the BC NDP.

“Yet again, Renee Merrifield is spreading harmful, anti-science views,” said BC NDP MLA Aman Singh. “This is a direct attack on journalists who were doing their jobs during the pandemic and it’s completely unacceptable from an MLA. Kevin Falcon should denounce this immediately and ask her to retract and apologize.”

Merrifield is currently getting married out of the country and one of her representatives tells Castanet, "Renee is not yet aware of this given the wedding festivities and timezone difference."

The official response from the Merrifield camp is: "MLA Merrifield is currently out of the country getting married. The retweet in question was done so inadvertently by an individual contracted by her office. The retweet was undone immediately when his error was realized.”

Merrifield, since becoming MLA, has a knack for creating controversy on Twitter. One of her tweets in January 2023 about controversial public speaker Jordan Peterson drew flak from critics.

In 2020, when serving as health critic, Merrifield apologized after liking tweets that appeared to suggest the province was deliberately trying to infect children with COVID-19 in order to develop herd immunity.

Another recent Twitter spat for Merrifield surrounded the NDP's use of the acronym BCUP to refer to the recently renamed BC Liberal party, after they declared they would now be called BC United.

Merrifield called the news release a "gendered attack” against her party by the BC NDP.

"Women's bodies should not be the punchline of your partisan jokes," she said. "We're BC United, not BCUP. It's disappointing to see NDP MLAs like Grace Lore and Jagrup Brar using gendered language, like references to bra sizes, to attack their political opponents.”

Interestingly, the news release from the BC NDP stated: "BCUP MLA Renee Merrifield is once again amplifying harmful, anti-science views."

The former BC Liberal Party officially changed its name to BC United in April after members voted for the change this past winter.

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