This federal election campaign has seen some very consistent themes, which is not always the best thing. One such theme from the Conservatives and Andrew Scheer has been a refusal to answer questions regarding his views on same sex marriage and abortion. Every time these topics are brought up, he has refused to say how he feels about these important issues, refused to apologize for his past comments on same sex marriage and has consistent said “they issues are settled and we’ve moved on.”
That consistent “non-answer” answer from Mr. Scheer has left him open to criticism for a very simple reason; why won’t he just be straight with everyone about he feels. He keeps saying he’ll never re-open these issues and will defend the rights of women and the LGBT community, but that all rings hollow because of his refusal to state anything more than a shrugging “it’s settled”.
That has left many to wonder why he would give that straight answer, but it’s an answer that is all the more important because of candidates who are running under the Conservative banner, the same candidates he says would never re-open these issues. Well Burnaby Now came out with a story today about a Conservative candidate in Burnaby and a video, one that raises those questions about how solemn their promises on these matters truly are:
Meet Conservative candidate in Burnaby North-Seymour Heather Leung. As you can see in the video above at the 2 minute mark, she has a lot of ignorant things to say about the LGBT community and obviously as no problem saying them to a member of the media. Add that to her views on a woman’s right to choose, which Burnaby Now wrote about back in June.
According to the reporting, Ms. Leung believes that anti-bullying legislation isn’t about stopping bullying but is really about trying to to “push” kids into the “homosexual” “camp”. She goes on to say that the LGBT community are trying to “recruit” kids, one of the ugliest and oldest tropes you can find out there. And then to top it off, she claims that this policy would “promote transsexual behaviour” to kids. Yes folks, she hit the trifecta of ignorance there.
But she wasn’t done with that, oh no no no. When she was talking about the “recruiting” of kids, she also said that they did this because “these homosexual people, they cannot produce the next generation.” Well, that ignorant nugget would come as a big shock to LGBT parents that I know out there, who seemed to have done what Ms. Leung says is absolutely impossible.
Maybe this is why the other parties and the media keep bringing up these topics with Mr. Scheer and want to know his views. He wants us to trust him that his caucus won’t try to “re-open” these topics, yet he has candidates like Ms. Leung who is openly and unabashedly against LGBT rights and abortion. And we all know that she’s not alone, as there are many others already in the Conservative caucus who fit that profile in their own ways.
So who do we take at their word, Mr. Scheer or Ms. Leung? And given that there are many other Conservative candidates with similar views as Ms. Leung in their caucus, do we believe that Mr. Scheer won’t bend to their will eventually? That’s asking Canadian a lot, without a lot of evidence to take Mr. Scheer at his word.
One good way to show that Mr. Scheer was being sincere about his statements about not wanting to re-open things would be to remove Ms. Leung as a candidate and do the same for any other candidate who pops up with similar views and actions. But I think that’s about as likely to happen as me winning the Olympic bronze medal in the 100 metres. So as this campaign continues, Mr. Scheer will keep getting these questions, and he will continue to be defensive about it and blaming the Liberals for getting them. But maybe instead Mr. Scheer should look in the mirror and ask himself if he’s getting these questions not because of the plotting of others, but because of the company that he keeps. If he does that, he might find the answer lies in his own recruitment failures.