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Monte McNaughton speaks at the Balmoral Hotel in Barry's Bay on Feb. 10, 2015.Pete Baklinski / LifeSiteNews

BARRY’S BAY, Ontario, February 13, 2015 ( – Ontario PC leadership candidate Monte McNaughton told a crowd during a campaign stop in the Ottawa valley that the main reason the conservative party has lost elections since 2003 is because of the lack of a “strong conservative plan.” He also reiterated his strong stance against the Wynne government’s explicit sex-ed agenda, and said he is “proud” to be pro-life.

“We’ve lost the last number of elections because we haven’t put forward a responsible and strong conservative plan,” he told a crowd of about 50, many of them young people, gathered at the Balmoral Hotel in Barry’s Bay Tuesday evening. McNaughton, 37, called it a “complete misnomer” for some people in the party to hold the party’s conservative stance as responsible for election losses.

In the course of his speech McNaughton laid out the foundation for his platform that includes tackling Ontario’s $278 billion debt by first and foremost “get[ting] the government to live within its means.” He also promised to not raise taxes. Part of his platform also includes repealing and refunding contributions for the Liberals’ pension scheme, ending the “wind turbine experiment,” and stopping the Liberal’s controversial sex-ed curriculum. 

“I’ve taken a very, very strong stance against Kathleen Wynne – in fact, [I’m] the only politician in the province of Ontario to come out and say: ‘As premier of Ontario, I’m going to stop Kathleen Wynne’s sex-ed agenda.’”

McNaughton held the Liberals accountable for failing to follow through on a 2010 promise to consult parents after then-Premier McGuinty’s proposed sex-ed update was shelved due to parental backlash. He accused the Liberals of “intentionally” releasing the proposed update two days after the province-wide school-board election in October so that parents would not be able to find out where trustees stood on the issue.

McNaughton was the only politician who has directly challenged Wynne in the provincial legislature for refusing to publicly release details about what the update actually contained, asking her in November: “What are you trying to hide?”

“It’s not Kathleen Wynne’s role to tell parents what’s appropriate for their kids. That’s up to parents out there. I think that as we see more and more of this coming out, we’re going to see that this is Kathleen Wynne’s agenda and she’s trying to force on moms and dads out there,” he told the crowd, some of whom were parents.

McNaughton told the crowd of his suspicion about why the PC Party has remained quiet on the sex-ed update.

“To be quite frank about it, I think there may have been a deal between all three parties to quietly let this go through. But I needed to stand in the House. We needed to get this issue out. We needed to wake up parents across the province and wake up the media and get them talking about this,” he said.

Concern for his young daughter is part of the driving force of his convictions as well as a “core belief that parents should be first educators on such serious issues like sex education.”

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“The government should respect that,” he said to applause.

McNaughton said he’s the one who can stand up to Wynne, but he needs an army of supporters to get him into the leadership position.

“This issue [of sex-ed] isn’t the easiest one to take on, and we need to be an army of parents to defeat this agenda. We need a politician who is going to stand up to Kathleen Wynne.”

Asked about his view on publicly funded abortion, he replied: “I am pro-life. I don’t hide behind that. I’m proud of my stance on that. I have said clearly when it comes to policy development that as soon as this leadership [campaign is] over we need to get to a policy convention and have conversations about all kinds of policies. I’m willing to have that debate, I think it’s good for the party to have that debate on all sorts of things, including that.”

In a video interview with LifeSiteNews after the event, McNaughton called the right to life the “greatest right, the most important right.”

“For me that’s important. Again, it’s who I am,” he said. “My wife and I are on the same page on this issue. We’re both pro-life, and I’m not shy to say that.”

Campaign Life Coalition is urging Ontarians concerned about “protecting children and upholding family values” to join the PC Party by the deadline of February 28 so they can vote at the leadership contest taking place in May. A one-year membership costs $10. Anyone 14 years and older can join.