OTTAWA, Ontario (LifeSiteNews) – Dr. Leslyn Lewis is the only pro-life candidate in the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) leadership race now that three others have been cut.
A total of six candidates are moving on to the next stage. Of those six, only Lewis has a “green light” rating as a “supportable” pro-life candidate from Campaign Life Coalition (CLC).
Two other candidates who are pro-life and endorsed by CLC— Joseph Bourgault and Grant Abraham—were disqualified from the race, even though they had raised the mandatory campaign funds. CPC MP Marc Dalton, to whom CLC also gave a “green light” rating, did not raise enough funds to meet the April 29 final entry deadline.
LEOC has not explained why Bourgault, Abraham and an additional CPC candidate, Joel Etienne, were disqualified.
Ryan Olson, Bourgault’s campaign chairman, said in a statement sent to LifeSiteNews that it was with “great disappointment that we were advised by the Conservative Party of Canada last evening that we are ineligible to advance in the Leadership Campaign.”
“They stated that our team did not meet the registration fees and compliance deposit of $300,000,” Olson explained.
However, Olson said their team did in fact submit a total of $367,453 before the April 29 entry deadline.
“We are seeking clarification from the Conservative Party LEOC Committee because we have met all the financial and signature requirements,” he stated.
Last week LifeSiteNews reported that Bourgault had met the thresholds set by the CPC and had submitted all the required documents.
CLC gave Bourgault a full endorsement, saying he is a “stellar pro-life, pro-family candidate who will also advocate for religious freedom, free speech and against authoritarian mandates on abortion-tainted vaccines.”
Indeed, Bourgault on his website has a section called “Creating a Pro Life and Family Culture.”
Abraham’s campaign team told LifeSiteNews that they believe they met the proper thresholds for their candidate to be allowed to run in the leadership race.
“Grant and his team are currently actively engaging the party for specific details on why his candidacy was deemed ineligible when we feel we met the requirements,” said Abraham’s campaign team.
“As soon as we have those details, we’ll communicate our next steps.”
On Monday Lewis voiced concern that some candidates were disqualified from running in the leadership race.
“We want a fair race. I’m not afraid of a hard fight, and the Conservative party is not one that should be cancelling legitimate contestants. @CPC_HQshould let them run,” Lewis tweeted.
— Dr. Leslyn Lewis (@LeslynLewis) May 2, 2022
According to a CBC news report, CPC executive director Wayne Benson said that the disqualified candidates were taken off the ticket based on the “requirements set out under the rules, not any prospective candidate’s political beliefs.”
“Any prospective candidate who did not meet the requirements was informed of this fact and the reason or reasons why they did not meet the requirements set out under the rules,” added Benson.
CLC says pro-lifers being disqualified ‘stinks’ of the ‘red Tory party establishment’
CLC Director of Political Operations Jack Fonseca told LifeSiteNews that Bourgault’s and Abraham’s disqualification from the CPC leadership race “stinks of skullduggery by the red Tory party establishment, which hates social conservatives like Joseph.”
“What do both these disqualifications have in common? They’re both social conservatives which the red Tory swamp has been trying to purge from the party for years now,” said Fonseca.
Fonseca noted that the third candidate disqualified, Joel Etienne, “is also rumoured to be a so-con although CLC was not able to speak with him and qualify him as a pro-lifer ourselves.”
Fonseca told LifeSiteNews that CLC hopes both Bourgault and Abraham will appeal their disqualifications, “in court, if necessary, because it’s totally unfair and undemocratic.”
“Conservatives rightly accuse the Liberals of being the party of corruption and anti-democracy. The CPC shouldn’t be trying to compete for that crown. In the Conservative Party, the grassroots believe in democracy and letting the members decide who should represent them. This sort of cancel culture has no business in the Conservative Party,” he said.
Fonseca added that CLC will do its best to “ensure that Leslyn Lewis is victorious as the only candidate we can green-light” should Bourgault and Abraham be unsuccessful in their appeals.
CPC front-runner Pierre Poilievre has a “red-light” rating for his voting record regarding abortion. However, he, like Lewis, has come out strongly against federal COVID vaccine mandates.
CLC has also red-flagged former Quebec Premier and CPC leadership candidate Jean Charest for his poor voting record regarding life issues.
As for the other candidates, Baber is an independent MPP from Ontario who has spoken out against COVID mandates and lockdowns. Brown is the Mayor of Brampton, Ontario.
This Thursday, leadership candidates will face their first debate, which will take place in Ottawa at the 14th Annual Canada Strong and Free Networking conference.
The first official party debate will be held in Edmonton, Alberta on May 11, with a French debate taking place in Laval, Quebec on May 25.
The CPC will announce a winner on September 10.
In the 2020 CPC leadership race , a similar scenario unfolded as two pro-life socially conservative candidates, Jim Karahalios and Richard Decarie, were disqualified.