As he was Kim Campbell’s former campaign manager and a frequent guest at Toronto’s gay pride parade observances, it was always clear that Ontario PC leader John Tory was no friend of social conservatives (or social democrats like myself). Nevertheless, Tory confirmed his disdain for pro-family activists during the past federal election campaign. With less than two weeks left in the campaign, he was quoted in the Toronto Sun attacking federal Conservative leader Stephen Harper over the latter’s promise to revisit the vote on so-called same-sex “marriage.”
The story appeared prominently on page A4 of the Sun’s Jan. 10 edition and was entitled, “Let gays be, says John Tory.” Alan Findlay began it as follows: “Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory warned that it would be unwise for Stephen Harper to reopen the same-sex ‘marriage’ debate if he wins this month’s federal election.”
Findlay quoted Tory as having said: “I think they would be unwise to reopen that issue … I think that the Parliament has dealt with it, the courts have dealt with it, the decisions of the courts stand on the books and that there are many other more important issues that people would prefer to see parliamentarians of any party address themselves to in the new Parliament.”
Tory then concluded as follows: “It is a matter of human rights.” By this quote, he revealed his true disdain for those who support the traditional definition of marriage. By saying it is a matter of human rights, he was obviously equating social conservatives and social democrats with those who historically deny rights to other people. Thus, in Tory’s Progressive Conservative Party, it would seem that pro-family activists are no different than slave-owners in the deep South or those who promoted apartheid in South Africa.
Al Walker is active with the federal Conservative Party. During the last provincial election, he ran as a Family Coalition party candidate. “I left the provincial PC because it drifted to the left on social issues,” Walker said recently. “This is also why I ran for the Family Coalition Party. I had been second-guessing this decision since the beginning of the federal campaign; however, Mr. Tory has confirmed that I made the right decision. Provincially, social conservatives must go elsewhere if we want our voices heard in the political process.”
After being denied the opportunity to contest the federal Conservative nomination in his riding, John Pacheco ran as a pro-family independent. “John Tory’s actions show that political allegiances are completely irrelevant,” said Pacheco. “Instead of parties, pro-family voters have to focus on the issues and those candidates (who) best support our position on these issues. If no candidate represents our issues, stay home. We will not receive respect as social conservatives and social democrats until we learn to respect ourselves first.”