On April 5, the Christian Heritage Party held its spring conference at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ont.

Although the last vestiges of Ontario’s April ice storm made travel difficult, 126 supporters, some from as far away as Walkerton, gathered to hear speakers address the theme of “Strategies to Advance the Christian Heritage Party of Canada.” The group included a healthy contingent of young people.

TV personality Michael Coren gave the opening address on the topic “Mere Christian.” He regaled the crowd with humorous anecdotes, while reminding everyone present of the importance of living one’s life fully and completely as a Christian. Coren also gave a motivating workshop later in the day entitled, “Encouraging stories for Youth and the Young at Heart.”

National director Tom Sabourin opened lunch with a brief address. He outlined some of the challenges one encounters when working with Elections Canada and gave some pointers to help candidates and their supporters prepare for the next election. Sabourin’s military background came in handy when sound troubles forced him to use what he called his “sergeant-major’s voice.”

The microphone problems were resolved by the time Campaign Life Coalition’s national president, Jim Hughes, approached the podium to speak Hughes gave the group the benefit of his years of experience in the political realm, outlining some strategies for improving the CHP’s visibility and media coverage. He advised on basic tips, such as dressing appropriately, to some of the finer points of finessing a candidate through a crowd.

Hughes also emphasized the importance of supporting young Christian families. He pointed out the difficulties that arise when an MP is separated from his wife and children. He advised that if a candidate was running just to “raise the flag,” the person could be a young family man or woman. However, in a riding where it was possible that the aspiring candidate might win, a party should not place someone who would have to leave a family behind to go to Ottawa.