Frank Klees, the Tory MPP for Newmarket-Aurora, is seeking the job of leader of the Ontario Conservative party. He said in a phone interview recently that he and his wife adopted a two-day-old son born to a single mom a number of years ago and is well aware of crisis pregnancies and the problems that occur. They also have two grown children.

Klees has a long history of pro-life activity, having attached his name to petitions in favour of abortion defunding and was also outspoken on the need for conscience protection for health care workers. He supports providing women seeking an abortion with materials to read about what they are planning to do, but is not in favour of a “confrontational environment” around abortion sites. How he would solve the problem of getting the pro-life message to women when legal bubble zones surround abortion sites is not clear.

Klees introduced Bill 91, which required that parents be advised of health care services (abortion for example) provided to their dependent, minor children.

As party whip, he said that Bill 5, which was criticized for granting many spousal rights to homosexuals, was sent back to the attorney-general to have it revised. A compromise bill came through that never touched the definition of marriage. Klees claimed it was never “ruthlessly rammed through the legislature in one day.” He opposes the redefinition of marriage.

Klees says he is against same-sex “marriage,” but believes same-sex couples have the right to “choose their own lifestyle” and should have the right to “make individual choices.”

He received his early religious education in a very conservative Baptist seminary in Toronto, but said he never became a Baptist minister and instead adopted the values he learned there. Klees, still a Protestant, has evidenced a great love and admiration for the late Pope John Paul II, who was a very strong pro-life advocate. He described the late pontiff as one of the great spiritual leaders of contemporary times. Pope John Paul II visited Ontario twice during his papacy of more than 25 years. On these visits, he was enthusiastically greeted by the province’s religious and cultural communities.

Klees was successful in getting a great number of MPPs from all parties to pass petitions around in the legislature and all over Ontario seeking support for a Pope John Paul II Day. Over 5,000 names were obtained and the bill was recently passed unanimously in the Ontario legislature. Bill 25 is an act stating that April 2 each year is to be proclaimed Pope John Pay II Day. It will not be a public holiday, but will be declared a special day in Ontario that honours Pope John Paul II. Congratulations, Frank. Thank you for all your efforts. (It certainly beats giving Henry Morgentaler the Order of Canada.)

Klees said that he voted against Peter Kormos’s organ donation bill because it was compulsory and didn’t provide for options. Klees’s private member’s organ donation bill still awaits final reading. His bill lists three options: 1. Yes, for organ donation. 2. No, to disapprove of organ harvesting from oneself. 3. Undecided.

Klees insists that hospitals across Canada could be accessed and supply organ information quickly. So what? Klees was reminded that organ-hungry doctors could easily ignore the “No” and “Undecided” options and give them a pass. Remember the thin edge of the wedge a number years ago, when four doctors had to approve of an abortion. A rubber stamp took care of that problem. Welcome to that old slippery slope.

Klees was asked about his stand on polygamy with men claiming 10 wives on their OHIP. He said it was the duty of the health system to address this situation and act firmly on any abuses.

Frank Klees, elected in 1995, has held high government posts and wants to be the next premier of Ontario. You want loyalty? You want elected experience? You want a people-friendly person and a promoter of “MPP activism”? You want a nice guy, a man of integrity and character? Klees is your man.

 The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Interim. The paper will provide full coverage of the Ontario leadership race in the June issue.