Conservative leadership hopeful, Marilyn Gladu, supports abortion and LGBT rights
Conservative MP Marilyn Gladu has attempted to clarify her stance on social issues to CTV’s Question Period.
During an interview in the program, Gladu stated that “she would stand up for the rights of all Canadians. The LGBT community has made clear that they want leaders and the prime minister to march and indicate that they support their rights, and I’m going to support the rights of every Canadian.”
Gladu then went on to express her support, once more, for same sex marriage and gay pride parades—saying that she would be marching in one on June 27. “It’s important that every part of the community feels loved and accepted, and I think as Canadians that we should stop dividing ourselves and pitting one group against another, we have to stand up for everyone’s rights and freedoms.”
When Gladu was asked about the abortion debate, she said that she was pro-life, “although, at this stage in my life the chances of me getting pregnant is basically zero.” Despite this, Gladu made it clear that abortion services should be available to all Canadians.
Gladu’s position on abortion and LGBT rights will starkly differentiate herself from Andrew Scheer, who often faced scrutiny for his less-than-clear position on these issues. Scheer, for instance, refused to participate in gay pride marches. Like Gladu, Scheer was also a pro-lifer, which due to poor management, sky-rocketed into a hot campaign topic.
Gladu announced her bid to become the leader of the Conservative Party on Jan. 9. She is, so far, the only female candidate in the leadership contest.
Tobacco continues to be Canada’s leading preventable cause of premature death and disease. According to Newswire, the LGBTQ+ communities 18-24 year olds are more likely to use tobacco than heterosexuals who are of the same age.
It is currently National Non-Smoking week. An investment of $2,840,767 was announced by Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health. The investment is in support of the All Together Now! project by the University of Toronto.
“This week marks National Non-Smoking Week in Canada, and I want to encourage the thousands of Canadians who will take their first steps toward quitting smoking.” said The honourable Patty Hajdu.
“The projects we are supporting today like Toronto’s All Together Now! will better help them as they make this positive change in their lives – and encourage others to follow in the same footsteps.”
The University has teamed up with the Canadian Cancer Society as well as Egale Canada and they are all working with LGBTQ+ community members. The goal of the project is to help LGBTQ+ members become healthier people by quitting smoking.
The project will support people around Thunder Bay and Toronto in Ontario and Montréal, Quebec. It is directed at approximately 114,000 people.
All Together Now! works through events, social media messaging, social media influencers and other online methods. They will also provide resources such as therapy.
The University of Toronto will receive about $1.3 million from the Government of Canada with Health Canada’s Substance abuse program. The money will be split up over 36 months for the Tobacco Research Unit.
“Smoking in LGBTQ+ communities is associated with stigma and related stress experienced by many individuals. Working from within LGBTQ+ communities, All Together Now! will build strong interventions to change the social climate for smoking and provide tailored quit-smoking support.” said Professor Robert Schwartz from Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto.
“We are grateful to the Government of Canada for making this vital work possible.”
It is the aim of Canada’s Tobacco Strategy to drop the use of tobacco to below 5 percent by the year 2035. About $330 million was federally invested throughout 5 years to move toward the goal.
Jean Charest has announced that he will not be running in the Conservative leadership contest after weeks of speculation.
His announcement, however, has caused a great deal of confusion in the media, as the Quebec-based news publication La Presse first confirmed that Charest was running and then quickly delated it after more reports emerged minutes later contradicting this report.
Soon after this, the French-speaking arm of the CBC confirmed that Charest would not be running in a tweet, which the English anchor Rosemary Barton soon confirmed to the CBC’s English audience.
Much pressure has been placed on Charest by respected figures within the Conservative Party. Stephan Harper, for instance, reportedly resigned from the Tory’s fund board so that he could openly campaign against the former Quebec Liberal.
As well as this, MacKay and Charest were not intending to run against each other due to their long relationship in Conservative politics. MacKay, however, has consistently placed ahead of Charest in the polls, making any leadership attempt seemingly futile for the Quebecker.
What is notable about Charest’s decision, however, is that this may beckon in Vincenzo Guzzo’s leadership contest who previously stated to The Post Millennial that if Charest “doesn’t run I’ll run.”
Charest is currently under investigation for corruption during his time as premier. The investigation has been ongoing for six years, and so far, has not led to charges against anyone involved.
Jean Charest said in a statement that “After careful consideration, I will not be running for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada. I am grateful to all those who called me, sent supportive messages and mobilized for my potential candidacy.”
“On environmental issues, the CPC must offer Canadians a credible and ambitious plan in regard to the management of our natural resources and the fight against climate change. One does not exclude the other!”
Editor’s note: This article was updated to include Conservative MP and leadership candidate Marilyn Gladu.
A whole month has now passed since Andrew Scheer resigned as leader of the Conservative Party, and now, the race to replace him is well underway. Some candidates, like Peter MacKay, foresaw the untenability of Scheer’s position, and reportedly began to organize their bid long before the first vote of the 2019 election had been counted.
Other candidates, like Erin O’Toole and Pierre Poilievre, have been more cautious—discreetly organizing a team that can defeat both their blue-blooded colleagues in June, and then a wobbly Justin Trudeau in the next election.
As Peter MacKay said after the disappointment of the last election, the Tories’ failure to beat Trudeau was “like having a breakaway on an open net and missing.” This most Canadian of analogies should remain pungent during the leadership contest: the next election should beckon a blue-wave across the country. If the Conservative Party again fails to win the keys to the PMO then one is perfectly within their right to expand upon MacKay’s analogy: It would be like failing to invade Poland; or, more sportingly, like losing a boxing match with an amputee. To put it simply, it is more likely than not that the victor of this leadership election will become the next prime minister of Canada.
Due to the sheer significance of this leadership contest, The Post Millennial has composed a handy guide. Here’s who is likely to compete in the leadership election and how they plan to win it.
MacKay has not had the easiest start to the leadership contest. After tersely declaring his bid on Twitter, the long-standing Tory MP, Scott Reid, hit back, throwing the former Harper minister’s loyalty into question. Nevertheless, MacKay is a respected figure in Canada’s Conservative movement. Through his role as the leader of the Progressive Conservatives, MacKay was vital to the formation of the modern Conservative Party.
MacKay served in numerous cabinet positions throughout the Harper era and remains a favourite in the leadership contest. Despite the shaky start, polls have made it clear that the Nova Scotian is in a top position to win.
Like MacKay, O’Toole is another party grandee who commands a great deal of respect from within the caucus. O’Toole, rather exotically these days, served in the military. If he is elected, he would be the first Conservative leader in over 60 years with military experience.
Most recently, O’Toole has served as the Opposition Critic for Foreign Affairs. O’Toole is not new to leadership contests, finishing third in the 2017 leadership election behind Maxime Bernier and Andrew Scheer.
I had the opportunity to meet Poilievre at a fundraiser. Immediately, he stood out as an effective speaker and as someone who could pose a serious challenge to the other candidates.
Poilievre is a career politician who, through his role as Scheer’s attack dog, has managed to garner wide support amongst the Conservative base. Poilievre has recruited the admired John Baird and the formidable Jenni Byrne, who is an accomplished operative who ran Harper’s 2015 campaign.
Gladu is, so far, the only female to enter the competition. Despite being a social Conservative, Gladu quickly made it clear that she would not re-open the abortion debate, and that she would happily march in a gay pride parade.
Before entering politics, Gladu worked as an engineer for Dow Chemical for over two decades. She was first elected in 2015 and served as a chair of the Standing Committee on Status of Women.
There are, of course, other candidates who are spending their time plotting for the leadership. However, for the sake of longevity, and the fact that Guzzo hasn’t received much media coverage, it seems only fair to discuss the Dragon’s Den star.
When The Post Millennial spoke to Guzzo a few weeks ago, he seemed uncertain whether he would throw his hat in the ring—stating that if the Quebec-based Jean Charest didn’t run, then he would be 75 percent sure that he would indeed run. Now, with the recent reports that Charest isn’t likely going to run, Guzzo’s ambition has solidified, telling me,”Yes. If [Charest] doesn’t run, I’ll run.”
Despite attempts to shrug off the comparison, Guzzo’s strategy has similarities to that of Kevin O’Leary’s leadership attempt in 2017. The most overt difference, however, is that Guzzo is Quebec-oriented. With the right-wing CAQ romping to victory in the 2018 provincial election, perhaps Guzzo is on to something. La Belle province is rich with seats, and if the Conservatives can persuade the fickle Quebecois, then Trudeau’s future as PM is in grave danger.
One of the tactics the Liberals have used with much success against the Conservatives is to lock the Conservatives into defending scarcity.
The Liberals repeatedly pledge to outspend the Conservatives, then demand to know what the Conservatives will “cut,” putting the Conservatives on the defensive.
And since many elections become bidding contests where parties compete to offer more to voters, the Liberals benefit to the detriment of the Conservatives.
Now, the answer to this problem isn’t for the Conservatives to just outspend the Liberals, since that wouldn’t be too consistent with the Conservative brand and value system.
However, the Conservatives can achieve success by reframing the issue.
All too often, the Conservatives end up playing within the Liberal (and establishment media) frame, which traps the Conservatives into defending what seems like scarcity and tough times ahead.
Notably, the two most successful centre-right candidates in the Anglosphere recently have won by avoiding being locked into the scarcity frame, and instead campaigned from an abundance frame or abundance mentality.
Both Boris Johnson and Donald Trump ran campaigns that featured much more positivity than they get credit for. While Johnson and Trump spent lots of time demonizing their opponents (as their opponents demonized them right back), both of them shared a message of abundance, repeatedly discussing how their policies and approach would lead to greater wealth and opportunity for the country.
Instead of constantly defending “cuts,” they constantly spoke about “wealth,” “prosperity,” “opportunity,” “job creation,” and sold themselves as being strongly on the side of those who wish to get richer, achieve financial independence and financial freedom, and elevate their status in life.
It was an aspirational message, based on an understanding that free Western societies have an unlimited potential for technological innovation, wealth creation, and opportunity, so long as people are free to succeed and prosper.
That abundance mindset is increasingly essential, especially as economic pessimism and fear spreads. With Canadians increasingly burdened by debt, unaffordable housing, higher taxes, and a rising cost of living, there’s a feeling of malaise across much of the nation.
Most ominously, Canadians believe the next generation will be worse off, and that kind of loss of hope can be devastating to our society and our nation.
So, by shifting towards an abundance mindset and refusing to be stuck in the Liberal scarcity frame, the Conservatives have the potential both to win the upcoming election and unleash the true power and potential of the Canadian people.