Cavilla may not accept board’s decision

The Christian Heritage Party has a new leader.  Or does it?  It depends on who you talk to.

In a highly unusual move the national board of Canada’s only pro-life federal party suspended its leader and appointed Heather Stilwell until the 1994 leadership convention in Vancouver.  According to the board, Stilwell, a pro-life activist from B.C. will lead the C.H.P. into the next federal election.

But Charles Cavilla, leader for the last year-and –a half refuses to accept the board’s decision and is trying to hold on to power.  He has called for a special convention as soon as possible to sort the situation out.  In the meantime, he has filed an injunction on preventing the party from publishing anything saying it isn’t its lawful leader.  When asked by The Interim who actually is the leader of the C.H.P, Cavilla leaves no doubt about his opinion. “Your talking to him,” he says, “I believe there will be a special convention and I’m moving heaven and earth to achieve this.  Following the nation convention the C.H.P will be wholesome and ready to do battle as they did in 1988.” He declined further comment saying the problem of the party having two leaders is “an internal problem.”  Stilwell also declined an interview about the problems.

“The confusion will be settled internally,” she said. We have to get out there and talk to people.”  She said to “give us a month” and the situation will be sorted out.  A report in the weekly newsmagazine Western Report said stepped aside to spend more time with his family.  Cavilla hotly denies this.  The problem surfaced at a meeting of the national board of the CHP during the weekend of March 19.

According to Robert Adams, the new president of the board’s action was precipitated by an address Cavilla gave the meeting.

“What occurred was simply a challenge to our constitution and how the party was to be run.” Adams said in a message to the party,” There were attempts to alter the course of the party and its structure,” he added.  He said “it came down to a “challenge” by Cavilla to the board to decide between him and the constitution.  The board decided to opt for the constitution and appointed Stilwell leader.

In a statement by Stilwell to the CHP, the interim president said this isn’t a position she sought. “Now that it has been given to me I feel as if I have been preparing for it al my life.” She said. “Nothing is gained by involving ourselves in a dispute we are not called upon to resolve” But Stilwell, husband of Heather, immediately resigned his position as party president to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest.

“We’re aware of their problems,” he said but added there is no change.  This doesn’t seem likely until he gets his wish for a national convention before one scheduled  in Vancouver next year and the party shouldn’t have to bear the cost of one