The Family Coalition Party of Ontario is setting its sights on having at least one member elected to the Ontario Legislature by the year 2011.

At the FCP’s annual convention and general meeting in Mississauga April 22, leader Giuseppe Gori said the prospect of proportional representation, or a mixed proportional representation system, coupled with “a lot of hard work,” will see the party end its string of not having candidates elected to the Legislature.

“We already have 12 candidates for the next election,” he told convention attendees. “Our plan is to run a candidate in every riding.”

Gori said trends toward social conservatism in the U.S. – illustrated by developments such as the ban on abortion in South Dakota and the common appointments of more conservative judges – along with the move to the far left by Ontario Progressive Conservative Party leader John Tory, the trouble Ontario Liberals are in and various scandals at the federal government level, provide opportunities the FCP can exploit.

“The FCP fills a gap,” he said, adding that trying to change other parties from within “doesn’t work.”

The FCP ran candidates in 51 ridings in the last provincial election. Next time around, it plans to conduct a centralized media advertising campaign from its central headquarters. It is seeking more members and more donations to make that aim a reality. Gori also said the FCP’s structure needs to be revitalized.

Also speaking at the conference were journalist, talk show host and commentator Michael Coren, who addressed media affairs, and Dawn Stefanowicz, who is writing a book on her experiences growing up as the daughter of a father who engaged in homosexual activities and ended up dying of AIDS in 1991.

“I saw the need for truth, rather than disguise,” she said. “It was only after my father died that I began this journey” to healing, she said. She hopes to have her book published later this year.