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B.C. Greens fire deputy leader for liking social media post comparing Dr. Bonnie Henry to Nazi doctor

The deputy leader of the B.C. Green Party has been fired after liking a social media post that compared provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry to Nazi war criminal and doctor Josef Mengele, who performed heinous experiments on Auschwitz concentration camp victims during the Second World War.

Dr. Sanjiv Gandhi also resigned as the Green candidate in the Vancouver-Renfrew riding for the 2024 provincial election.

On social media, Gandhi explained that he “inadvertently” liked the post in question, which was written by a person he doesn’t follow on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“I am sorry for the harm I have caused,” he wrote. “I had hoped to engage in a meaningful, respectful discussion during the provincial election campaign, but I recognize that my mistake, and others capitalizing on that mistake, will be an unavoidable distraction making that impossible,” he wrote.

In announcing Gandhi’s departure, Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau said liking the post comparing Henry to Mengele was “unacceptable.” 

“The party continues to condemn any hateful rhetoric including minimization of the Holocaust,” Furstenau said in a statement issued Thursday.

Gandhi is a former chief of pediatric cardiovascular and thoracic surgery at B.C. Children’s Hospital and an outspoken critic of the government’s COVID-19 and health-care policies. He resigned from the hospital effective Dec. 31, 2022.

He was appointed B.C. Green Party deputy leader in January. In his short tenure he continued to advocate for a return to mandatory masking in public spaces and widespread clean air strategies like HEPA filtration and carbon dioxide monitors.

Gandhi was nominated to run for the party next year in the redrawn riding of Vancouver-Renfrew, which would have seen him go head-to-head against longtime incumbent and current Health Minister Adrian Dix. 

Premier David Eby applauded Furstenau for making the “difficult but necessary” decision to fire Gandhi, calling his attack on Henry “reprehensible.”

A white woman with short brown hair speaks next to a South Asian man wearing a mask.
B.C. Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau is pictured with Dr. Sanjiv Gandhi in Vancouver in February. The Green Party has been critical of the province’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, with Gandhi being the face of that criticism. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

On Thursday, the B.C. Conservative Party held a rally with about 60 people in Victoria denouncing Bill 36, the Health Professions and Occupation Act, which was brought into force last November.

The bill gives the province increased power in governing health-care workers in all sectors, including requiring that they be vaccinated against COVID-19.

On Wednesday, B.C. Conservative MLA Bruce Banman called for Henry to be fired and for unvaccinated health-care workers to be rehired.

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