Campaign Life Coalition deemed Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative MLA John Lohr (Kings North) supportable in the party’s provincial leadership race.
CLC reports that Lohr supports introducing a bill to protect the conscience rights of medical professionals who do not want to participate in euthanasia. CLC political strategist Jack Fonseca said that Lohr recognizes the dangers that the NS College of Physicians presents to conscientious objectors.
Lohr is also opposed to creating anti-free speech bubble zones near abortion facilities and agrees in principle with parental consent for minors seeking abortions. He is a supporter of parental rights in education and would remove funding from universities that do not protect freedom of speech.
Fonseca said Lohr, “has put out a fairly impressive campaign platform with solid policies to protect the conscience rights of medical practitioners, and to defend free speech.”
CLC’s assessment is based on public statements and communications between Lohr and his staff and CLC representatives.
Other candidates include Julie Chaisson, the candidate of record for Chester-St. Margaret’s; Cecil Clarke, mayor of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality and a former provincial cabinet minister and speaker of the house; MLA Tim Houston (Pictou East), and MLA Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin (Cumberland North). Polls indicate that Clarke is the early favourite.
Clarke describes himself as “pro-choice” but says he supports free-votes on matters of conscience. Chaisson also support free votes but also also indicates that nothing can be done about abortion because it is a federal matter. Both have been disqualified by CLC, while the pro-life group gives a yellow caution to Houston and Smith-McCrossin because they do not have any information about either leadership contender.
All Nova Scotia residents who were qualified PC members as of Sept. 11, get to vote by mail (ballots must be received by Oct. 22) or at the party’s convention in Halifax Oct. 26-27. Every riding has 100 points, which are distributed based on vote. Polls indicate that Lohr trails the other four leadership contenders.
The NS PCs are seeking a new leader after Jaime Baille resigned last year over allegations of sexual harassment.
The next provincial election is expected in the spring of 2021.