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Campaign Life's Conservative Leadership Voter's Guide released April 26, urges voters to only support former MP Pierre Lemieux, left, or MP Brad Trost. Wikimedia Common photos

Campaign Life Coalition ‘disqualifies’ all but two Tory leadership hopefuls

  • May 2, 2017

OTTAWA – Campaign Life Coalition has “disqualified” all but two Conservative leadership candidates, a move that has drawn fire from other pro-life activists.

Campaign Life’s Conservative Leadership Voter’s Guide urged supporters to vote only for former MP Pierre Lemieux or Brad Trost, who both get an A+ rating for their pro-life, pro-family positions.

“No other candidate should be considered,” the guide said. “The remaining candidates are disqualified from consideration. Please do not rank their names on the ballot.”

There are 13 candidates in the running for the leadership and the party’s ballot allows voters to rank 10 candidates in order of preference.

Among those disqualified is former Speaker of the House MP Andrew Scheer, a devout Catholic with a perfect pro-life voting record. He gets a B- ranking in the guide, which noted that he has publicly stated he would not re-open the abortion debate. The next highest ranking is Maxime Bernier’s at C+. The rest get D- or F rankings.

Campaign Life released the guide April 26, the same day Kevin O’Leary announced he would leave the race and throw his support behind Quebec MP Bernier. Polls show Scheer running close to Bernier in support.

Almost 260,000 Conservative members are eligible to vote for the leader, who will be named May 27.

Campaign Life’s voter’s guide was followed by a similar one from PAFE (Parents as First Educators) that also endorsed only Trost and Lemieux. However, PAFE did not instruct people to leave the rest of the ballot blank.

Alissa Golob and Scott Hayward, co-founders of the pro-life organization It Starts Right Now, had published a suggested ranked ballot several weeks ago that put Scheer in second place behind Lemieux and Trost in third.

Hayward called Campaign Life’s strategy “extremely imprudent.”

“Other candidates may not be 100-per-cent pro-life, but not every candidate is zero-per-cent pro-life,” Hayward said. “Oftentimes in politics it’s not either/or. Some are open to some things pro-lifers would like to see passed in the next Parliament or that don’t require a vote, such as rescinding the $650 million to fund abortion overseas, or allocations to the Department of Health or Status of Women.”

Suzanne Fortin, an Ottawa-based pro-life activist and Trost supporter, also disagreed with the Campaign Life strategy. “Andrew Scheer may not bring forth abortion legislation, but he may be helpful in other ways.”

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