By John-Henry Westen
SASKATOON, July 6, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The revelation of $400,000 in funding from the federal Conservatives for the recent Toronto Gay Pride parade, which is notorious for its inclusion of full frontal nudity and public sex acts by homosexuals, came as a shock to most social conservatives in the nation. According to Conservative MP Brad Trost, however, the decision to fund the event also came a shock to most of the Conservative caucus, even those inside the Prime Minister's office.
Speaking to LifeSiteNews.com from his riding office in Saskatoon today, the 36-year-old Conservative said, "The pro-life and the pro-family community should know and understand that the tourism funding money that went to the gay pride parade in Toronto was not government policy, was not supported by - I think it's safe to say by a large majority - of the MPs. This was a very isolated decision."
Trost also hinted that Minister Diane Ablonczy, who was responsible for the funding, lost the file as a consequence of the embarrassment to the Party. Protesting more than once that there was no "official connection," he said, however, "it should be noted that the file has been reassigned to a different Cabinet Minister since that announcement was made." He added, "The whole tourism program and funding for major tourism events is being reviewed."
Trost claimed that "almost the entire Conservative caucus" including "most of the Prime Minister's Office were taken by surprise at this announcement."
"It shouldn't be deemed to have been a change in Party policy," he said, adding, "Most of the caucus is still strongly pro-traditional marriage."
The MP attributed the move to "sloppiness."
"Canadian taxpayers, even non-social-conservative ones, don't want their tax dollars to go to events that are polarizing or events that are more political than touristic in nature," he said.
"I'm glad they're owning up to a very grave error here," said Mary Ellen Douglas, national coordinator for Campaign Life Coalition (CLC), in response to Trost's remarks. CLC had originally protested the decision to fund Gay Pride as soon as it was made public. At the time, CLC's Jeff Gunnarson had told LSN, "Given the fact that the Conservative government supports marriage as a union of one man and one woman in Section 68 iii of their Policy Declaration, I am concerned that they find it prudent to give nearly half a million dollars to a group that diametrically opposes that very section of the policy."
Mary Ellen Douglas told LSN today, "Hopefully such mistakes won't happen again, especially at a time when the economy is so bad."