With a number of policies that are top of the agenda in the election campaign going against social conservative values—such as all major party leadership including the Conservatives declaring strong pro-abortion stances—a major organizer of social conservative voters says the campaign so far has been disappointing.
“That has really taken the wind out of the sails of a lot of social conservatives,” Jack Fonseca, a spokesperson for Campaign Life Coalition, told The Epoch Times.
Fonseca says many social conservative policies including some that concern religious freedom and free speech have been successfully passed at the Conservative Party convention over the years, but they haven’t been endorsed by the party leadership.
“We’ve managed to pass a policy that condemns sex-selective abortions. We’ve passed a policy that explicitly condemns all forms of euthanasia and assisted suicide,” he said. “We’ve helped to pass policies that defend conscience rights for health professionals to not have to perform or refer for abortions or euthanasia or any other procedure that violates their moral conscience.”
But Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole has embraced many non-social conservative causes, he says, including voting against the anti-sex-selective bill introduced by his caucus member Cathay Wagantall that would make it a criminal offence for a medical practitioner to perform a sex-selective abortion.
“Many of our supporters are feeling like ‘Well, I don’t know if I should vote. I don’t know if I should just give up on politics,’” Fonseca said. “That’s very disappointing because we’ve come so far, we’ve come so very close, and we can’t stop now.”
Other concerns that are top of mind among social conservatives include the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, “liberty destroying” vaccination passports, and the current government’s “globalist agenda,” he said.
Fonseca said his message to social conservative voters is to not lose hope and to focus on getting pro-life candidates from any political stripe elected, while looking ahead to future party conventions and leadership elections to change the party leadership.
“As a pro-life, pro-family organization, Campaign Life Coalition is asking social conservatives right across the country to vote for their local pro-life candidate,” he said.
“As an organization, we are non-partisan in that we endorse pro-life candidates from any party. There are many Conservative pro-life candidates that we are endorsing. There are many PPC [People’s Party of Canada] candidates, Christian Heritage Party candidates, and also a number of independents, including those that will be associated with Derek Sloan.”
Sloan announced the creation of his True North Party just ahead of the election call, but since his proposed party wasn’t approved by Elections Canada by the time the writ was dropped, he can’t formally run candidates in this election.
However, the former Conservative MP says he and his supporters will arrange to have some candidates run as independents, who will then join his party if they are elected once True North is formally approved.
Fonseca said in his view, the best outcome would be the defeat of the current government and to have a maximum number of pro-life and pro-family candidates, including Sloan, winning seats so social conservative voters can continue to stand up for the values they believe in.
Looking to the future, he hopes Sloan can remain an MP and go on to grow his new party, and also that more pro-life PPC candidates will be elected as well.
“I think that would be the ideal situation, so that if the Conservatives hold power, there are MPs in other parties who are truly conservative that can keep them honest and help bring them back to their roots … to drag the Conservative Party to the right again.”