Kevin Arsenault for leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Prince Edward Island.

Kevin Arsenault for leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Prince Edward Island.

Campaign Life Coalition has endorsed Kevin Arsenault, a contender running for leadership of the Prince Edward Island Progressive Conservative Party. Arsenault is a long-time Island pro-life activist.

The PC Party will choose a leader on Feb. 9, when all party members will vote in a preferential ballot.

The CLC Voter’s Guide rated Arsenault pro-life and encouraged its supporters to purchase a membership by the Jan. 18 deadline and put Arsenault first on the ballot because of his pro-life and pro-family platform.

Arsenault supports defunding abortion, conscience rights for health care workers, and parental rights in education. He also rejects unscientific gender theory being taught in schools.

Jack Fonseca, CLC’s director of political operations, said CLC rated Arsenault tops in its guide because of his track record of pro-life activism and his current platform. Fonseca said, “Arsenault is an accomplished pro-life writer and thinker, having published dozens of articles and opinion pieces advocating for preborn human rights,” and “has a strong socially conservative platform that includes defunding medically unnecessary, elective abortions.” Fonseca also said that Arsenault rejects the teaching of unscientific transgender ideology to PEI school children.

Fonseca said, “This is the kind of Leader – and future Premier – that Islander families desperately need in order to defend parental rights in education, and to protect wasteful and politically motivated spending of their hard-earned tax dollars.”

There are five candidates running for leader. CLC disqualified two contenders, Dennis King, who supports abortion, and Sarah Stewart-Clark, who is an activist for the LGBT agenda and transgender ideology.

Two others candidates are also running: Allen Dale and Shawn Driscoll. CLC gave them a yellow light in their guide. CLC has no information about Dale and therefore cannot rate him. Driscoll answered the CLC questionnaire and held some pro-life views but had exceptions and said he would not reopen the abortion issue if he formed government. CLC encouraged supporters to only vote for Arsenault and not the candidates who were given a yellow light because it “sends a counter-productive message to all politicians that the pro-life vote can be bought very cheaply, without ever having to give social conservatives anything of significance in return.”

In the 1980s, PEI became an abortion-free zone, but in 2015 Liberal Premier Wade MacLauchlan allowed abortion to become available on demand on the Island. Previously, Island women went to the mainland to obtain abortions if two doctors referred for the procedure. MacLauchlan opened a hospital-based abortion facility in 2016 and is in the process of making the abortion drug Mifygemiso easily available.

The PC Party is looking for its second leader since winning just eight seats in the 26-seat PEI legislature in 2015. James Aylward resigned in September, a year after winning the leadership, citing an inability to connect with Island voters.