The Conservative leadership candidate Leslyn Lewis has revealed a secret recording of fellow Conservative leadership candidate Peter MacKay where he told social conservatives to be quiet over social issues until the party is in a better place.
Speaking to his audience in Calgary, MacKay said that “social issues and social conservatives have a place in the Conservative party, 100 percent. We are the party who are defenders of free speech, freedom of expression, freedom of religion.”
“But. But. Let's not talk about going back. Let’s talk about how we park those issues for a time until we get the country moving in the right direction again. Because we know this: we know that our position will be misinterpreted. They’ll be spun, they’ll be used against us, and we will suffer for it in many parts of the country,” added MacKay.
“We won’t be able to break through with the more important messages — of how we can turn the focus to the things that are more impactful right now. Right now, the evolution on social issues has taken us to a point where most Canadians just don’t want to talk about it anymore.”
Peter MacKay has previously been outspoken over social issues, calling Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer’s stance on abortion a "stinking albatross." MacKay later clarified this statement, saying he regretted how it was viewed.
Speaking to The Post Millennial, leadership candidate Erin O’Toole said that “there is no attack the Liberals love using more than the threat of a Conservative ‘hidden agenda.’ It is imperative that our leader is clear on where they stand on all issues, including social issues.”
I have been clear on where I stand,” added O’Toole. “I wore a uniform for Canada defending all rights, you didn’t pick or choose which to defend. I will take the same approach as the leader of our party. I will always defend and champion the rights of all Canadians, including women’s rights and LGBTQ rights. And I will also be a champion for the right of all MPs to have open votes on matters of conscience, because religious freedoms and freedom of speech are also rights we must defend. There will never be a hidden agenda with an Erin O’Toole leadership.”
Marilyn Gladu, on the other hand, told The Post Millennial that “everyone’s right to believe what they want needs to be protected. No one should be required to ‘park’ their views or their rights of belief and conscience. Poor leadership shown on this by MacKay.”
Peter MacKay did not respond when The Post Millennial approached him for a comment.