Ex-MLA queries Christy's cleavage

NDP leader Dix busts N. Van's Schreck over controversial tweet

A North Vancouver political blogger and former NDP MLA is being given a booby prize this week for comments he posted on Twitter saying Premier Christy Clark showed too much cleavage in the legislature.

"I've taken enormous abuse over the issue," said David Schreck, author of the Strategic Thoughts political blog and former MLA for North Vancouver-Lonsdale, a day after his tweet stirred up controversy.

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But Schreck said he's not backing down from his opinion on Clark's attire, despite a request from NDP Leader Adrian Dix to apologize.

"I didn't criticize Christy Clark in a sexist or otherwise demeaning manner. I simply raised the issue of what is appropriate attire in the legislature," he said. "I think she crossed the line."

Schreck ignited controversy on Wednesday, when he tweeted "Is Premier Clark's cleavage-revealing attire appropriate for the legislature?"

The outfit in question was a navy blue dress with a V neckline, under a blazer.

Schreck said his wife first raised the issue, when the couple were watching question period on TV.

That comment quickly touched off a social media firestorm, with others calling Schreck's comments "sexist and inappropriate" and one person labelling him a "creepy old man."

Schreck shot back, saying, "Is it sexist to discuss appropriate dress?"

After that, the debate snowballed. Schreck acknowledged Thursday, "I am receiving much wrath on Twitter and elsewhere" over the comments.

But he said he stands by his views that baring any cleavage in the legislature is inappropriate. "A man cannot take his seat in the legislature without wearing a tie," he said.

"If you look at the women in the legislature through Hansard TV none of them reveal any significant cleavage."

Jane Thornthwaite, MLA for North Vancouver-Seymour, said she was surprised that "in this day and age we should be talking about what the premier's wearing."

She added it's disheartening but true that women in politics still get scrutinized far more closely on their appearance than men do. "I don't hear anybody making any negative comments - or any comments for that matter - about what men wear," she said. "I guess that means we have a long way to go for women."

Thornthwaite said in her opinion, Clark "looked very professional, and always looks professional."

"Why are we wasting our time talking about this when there's much more important things to talk about?" she said.

"If somebody's making a comment about the premier and what she's wearing, we must be doing a really good job, because there's nothing else to talk about."

jseyd@nsnews.com

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