The delay in the call for an Ontario election has proven to be beneficial to more than just the ruling Progressive Conservatives.

The leader of the pro-life and pro-family Ontario Coalition-Family Coalition Party of Ontario says the apparent holding of a provincial vote this coming fall, rather than this past spring, has given his organization more time to prepare and an opportunity to field more candidates.

“We got a good break with the election being postponed,” said Giuseppe Gori in an interview with The Interim. “That means we have the summer to look for more candidates and that kind of thing. We hope to run 50 candidates. In the 1999 election, we ran 38.”

Gori’s party has been active in running ads on the most-listened-to radio station in Canada, CFRB-AM in Toronto, as well as on CHRI-FM in Ottawa, that have garnered interest from listeners. “We plan to do more advertising on CFRB, and possibly in other media, in August. We’ve done advertising in print media as well, and are examining television. Of course, television is more expensive … We’re aiming to have more presence in the media, and have more meetings and contacts with people.”

Along those lines, Coalition members have been attending meetings, events and church functions. They’re trying to get the message out that the Ontario Coalition-Family Coalition Party of Ontario is there and a viable option for voters who are turned off by the anti-life, anti-family policies and actions of the mainstream political parties.

“We’re going to participate in a few events over the summer, like Christian concerts,” said Gori. “We’re also going to have a picnic on July 27, and have hired a campaign manager to help in the search for candidates.”

An important development has been the reaching of an understanding between Gori’s party and Campaign Life Coalition, Canada’s national pro-life political lobbying organization. They will be co-ordinating candidates in various ridings so that pro-life, pro-family votes are not split. “If CLC provides us with clear information that a riding has a pro-life person running, we are prepared to work with them … CLC will also hopefully help us find pro-life candidates in every riding.”

As always, the most daunting tasks Gori’s party faces are voter recognition, finding qualified candidates and overcoming citizens’ reluctance to vote for it out of a belief that it is a wasted vote. He emphasized that although it is a pro-life, pro-family party, the FCP doesn’t hinge on one key issue. “It would be wrong, I think, to say we are a pro-life party and then have no policy on family taxation, for example.”

Gori stressed that his party is not focused on electing one or more MPPs, but on making a steady, long-term impact on the Ontario political landscape. “We already have had an influence on the party in power and on the opposition … We are looking at a long-term situation. Electing one person without consistent, widespread support is not going to last too long.”

“I think we represent 20-30 per cent of the population,” he added. “Those people are not voting for us because we are not ‘established’ … Some people believe voting for the least of the three evils is an option. But if you have a (pro-life candidate), you don’t have an option. We can provide that candidate in every riding … If people stick with a party that is 100 per cent pro-life and pro-family, we will see results five or six years down the road.”