How ironic that after having pushed the Wildrose Party into the Lake of Fire in the 2012 election that the Tories would walk right into it themselves
And how ironic that with the Lake of Fire religious conservative types having been marginalized in Alberta politics, that the Tories would be the ones to resuscitate them
The PC leadership candidate are all trying hard to lock up every single vote they can, and clearly Ric McIver feels that there is fertile ground for support among social and religious conservatives. But by pandering to the more extreme elements, McIver – and the Tories — risk losing support elsewhere.
McIver found himself in hot water, after taking part in Sunday’s March for Jesus. The event is run by Calgary’s controversial Street Church, which has billed the event as a counter to Calgary’s Pride Parade. Not only that, but they describe the pride parade an event in which the streets are flooded with people of the wrong sexual orientation who are provoking the wrath of God.
They even described last year’s flood as the work of God, trying to wake up Calgarians to the evils of abortion and homosexuality
After all of this was brought to light, McIver distanced himself from Street Church, but did not condemn them. His statement reads as follows:
Yesterday, I helped open the March for Jesus in Calgary.
In my remarks, I talked about how I have been able to celebrate the diversity of Alberta by taking part in celebrations of many religions, cultures and traditions that make up Alberta, and this was a day to celebrate my own Roman Catholic faith with other Christians.
I have attended the opening of this event for the last 4 years. For years, I have also attended events with other faith communities, including Sikhs, Muslims, Hindus, Jews and secular events with many diverse communities from around the world.
I sent a tweet about how it was good to see Alberta flags. To me, this was indication of how all Albertans can take part in celebrating their faith and culture openly in our province.
Since then, I have received many communications about negative text on the March for Jesus website.
Let me be clear about a few things:
1. Albertans have the right to live their lives as they choose (within the bounds of the law of course.)
2. The website in question is not my website and does not describe my views.
3. My website is ricmciver.com
4. As an Albertan and if chosen Premier, I do and will continue to defend equality rights for all Albertans as defined in the Charter, including sexual orientation. I deplore discrimination against all groups and individuals without exception.
5. I shall continue to attend events celebrating the diversity of Alberta.
I hope this statement clears up any doubts about my commitment to the rights and freedoms of all Albertans, in the past, in the present and in my intentions for the future.
With all due respect to Ric McIver, embracing groups who reject diversity does not advance the cause at all.
The other candidates have reiterated their own support for diversity and equal rights, but no condemnation for the hateful views espoused by Street Church
Not only that, but in recent days both McIver and Jim Prentice have pledged their support for Section 11.1 of the Human Rights Act – once known as Bill 44. That provision is ostensibly to allow parents to pull their kids out of class when areas of sexuality or sexual orientation are addressed. But the written notice requirement seems more aimed at putting a chill on such topics in the first place.
If the Tories want to reinvigorate Alberta’s social and religious conservatives then they forfeit the right to ever cry “Lake of Fire” again.
UPDATE: Our interview from Monday evening with PC leadership candidate Thomas Lukaszuk: