The deputy leader of British Columbia’s Green Party was 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 atrocious experiments on victims of the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II.
Dr. Sanjiv Gandhi also resigned as the Green candidate on the Vancouver-Renfrew ticket for the 2024 provincial election.
On social media, Gandhi explained that “without realizing it” he liked the publication in questionwhich was written by a person you don’t follow on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“I’m sorry for the hurt I’ve caused,” he wrote. “I had hoped to engage in a meaningful and respectful discussion during the provincial election campaign, but I recognize that my mistake, and that of others who take advantage of that mistake, will be an inevitable distraction that makes that impossible,” he wrote.
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 the minimization of the Holocaust,” Furstenau said in a statement issued Thursday.
Gandhi is former chief of pediatric cardiovascular and thoracic surgery at BC Children’s Hospital and open critic of government healthcare and COVID-19 policies. He resigned from the hospital effective December 31, 2022.
He was named deputy leader of the BC Green Party in January. In his brief tenure, he continued to advocate for the return of mandatory mask-wearing in public spaces and for widespread clean air strategies such as HEPA filtration and carbon dioxide monitors.
Gandhi was nominated to run for the party next year in the Vancouver-Renfrew redraw, which would have seen him go head-to-head against current Health Minister Adrian Dix.
Prime Minister David Eby applauded Furstenau for making the “difficult but necessary” decision to fire Gandhi and called his attack on Henry “reprehensible.”
On Thursday, the British Columbia Conservative Party held a rally with about 60 people in Victoria denouncing Bill 36, Health Professions and Occupations Actwhich came into effect last November.
The bill gives the province greater power to govern health-care workers in all sectors, including requiring them to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
On Wednesday, BC Conservative MP Bruce Banman called for Henry to be fired and for unvaccinated healthcare workers to be rehired.