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Conservative MP Brad Trost holds his newborn baby as he speaks at the National March for Life in May 2015.Patrick Craine / LifeSiteNews

SASKATOON, Saskatchewan, August 17, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — It’s official. Saskatchewan MP Brad Trost has launched his run for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada.

The 42-year-old backbencher, elected for his fifth term in the Liberal landslide last October, bills himself as “100 percent conservative” on his campaign website,

A Christian, Trost has an impeccable pro-life voting record, is an active member of the Pro-Life Conservative Caucus, and has consistently participated in Campaign Life Coalition’s annual National March for Life, appearing at the last two with his baby daughter cradled in his arms.  

On family vacation in Mongolia, his wife’s native land, Trost was not available for comment, but campaign manager Mike Patton told the Ottawa Citizen that Trost “didn’t see another candidate that was going to be a principled conservative, which is what he believes in — that you should have core principles, as opposed to being a weathervane conservative, changing with whatever the prevailing winds are.”

The MP for Saskatoon University becomes the sixth to declare candidacy in the Conservative party’s leadership race. Other candidates are MPs Maxime Bernier, Kellie Leitch, Michael Chong, Tony Clement, and Deepak Obhrai.

Campaign Life Coalition political strategist Jack Fonseca responded enthusiastically to the news, telling LifeSiteNews in an email that “CLC wholeheartedly endorses Brad Trost for leader. Of the declared candidates thus far, only Brad is pro-life, pro-family and pro-faith.”

Added Fonseca: “It’s also important to note the intensity of his beliefs in these core values. While some politicians may self-label as ‘pro-life’ but lack any policy or behaviour to substantiate the claim, Brad has actually spent his career putting those core principles into action.”

Indeed, Trost recently rose to prominence at the Tories’ May policy convention as acknowledged leader of the contingent that opposed deleting the defence of marriage as between one man and one woman from the party’s policy declaration — a battle Trost and allies lost.

That loss made him seriously consider running for leadership, Trost told LifeSiteNews in an earlier interview. It’s not as if there is “no one else in caucus who shares my beliefs,” he said, but “there aren’t a lot of people who are prepared to stand up. Some people just shrugged their shoulders and were prepared to walk away.”

Added Trost: “Look, I understand, sometimes you lose political battles; you can’t fight them over and over again. But I’m not the sort of person who believes that you just shrug your shoulders about fundamental principles, and I think that says it all.”

The former geophysicist is also demonstrably unafraid to criticize his own party when it departs from those principles, having blasted the Conservative government in 2009 for funding the Pride Parade to the tune of $400,000, and again in 2011 for giving $6 million to abortion giant International Planned Parenthood Federation.

Trost also decried Harper’s government’s infamous “ironclad party discipline” that shut down debate on policy, and supported MP Michael Chong’s 2015 Reform Bill, which reportedly came out of the mysterious “Committee 2012” — reportedly a group of about 25 disaffected Tory MPs who pushed for democratic reforms, including limiting the power of the prime minister and the prime minister’s office (PMO).

CLC supporters urged to back Trost

“No other declared candidate is deemed to be supportable by CLC, and therefore, we’re urging all supporters across Canada to buy a federal CPC membership ASAP so that they become eligible to vote for Brad as leader,” Fonseca told LifeSiteNews, emphasizing that it is not too late for pro-life and pro-family advocates to get involved.

His message to pro-lifers: “Even if you tend to vote Liberal, NDP, or if you don’t normally vote, please, please make the sacrifice of spending $15 on a membership to ensure we get a rock solid pro-life/pro-family leader in the Conservative Party.”

“Think about it,” Fonseca stressed. “Even if you tend to vote Liberal for reasons outside of life and family issues, wouldn’t you prefer to see the Conservatives lead by someone who shares your values?”

Candidates must raise a $50,000 registration fee and a $50,000 refundable compliance deposit, and gather signatures of 300 party members from at least 30 electoral districts representing at least seven different provinces and territories.

“Brad needs cold, hard cash,” Fonseca noted. “It costs $100,000 just to run, never mind all the promotional and outreach costs on top. I figure he’ll need $250,000 to run a really strong leadership campaign against the social liberals who always tend to have more friends with deep pockets.”

Pro-lifers “need to put their money with their mouth is and help make Brad financially competitive in this leadership race,” he pointed out.

“Brad will also need volunteers to help him organize in communities across the country,” added Fonseca. “Sign up to help him.” That help could include “offering to organize local meet ‘n greet events, or coffee parties, to get friends and relatives interested in supporting Brad.”

Other pro-life candidates may declare

Other rumoured possible contenders are Nova Scotia former MP and cabinet minister Peter MacKay, Saskatchewan MP Andrew Scheer, and Ontario MP Erin O’Toole. According to the Citizen, a few high-ranking Tories have been urging Gérard Deltell to run, but the Quebec MP has indicated he’s not interested.

While endorsing Trost, CLC is also open to supporting other pro-life politicians who might declare as candidates, Fonseca said.

“We are hoping that Andrew Scheer, who has a perfect voting record in Parliament, also joins the race,” he told LifeSiteNews.

“We’d be happy to endorse Andrew, notwithstanding his unfortunate comments against natural marriage, which I hope he will have the courage to walk back at some point.”

“It’s vital that CLC supporters – who number over 170,000 across Canada – seize this rare opportunity to install a leader who shares their values, whether it be Trost or potentially, another pro-lifer who may yet step in,”  Fonseca added.

“This is our chance to elect a true ‘movement’ conservative, who actually believes in the core values of life, family, liberty and fiscal responsibility.”  

The CPC leadership vote will be held May 27, 2017. There are five leadership debates scheduled, with the first in Saskatoon on November 10.

For more information on Trost’s campaign, go here.