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TORONTO, September 23, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Campaign Life Coalition is urging its supporters not to abandon the Progressive Conservative Party even as the highly publicized rift between Ontario’s social conservatives and PC leader Patrick Brown deepens.

“Stay involved. It’s who we are,” CLC said in a statement to supporters posted on Facebook Friday morning in a play on Brown’s tagline: “It’s who I am.”

“Patrick Brown lied to us and has broken the trust of thousands of PC members,” the CLC statement continues. “Let him say what he wants. The truth is, Patrick Brown’s hostility and duplicity towards pro-life and pro-family members of the PC Party doesn’t change anything. We’re not going away.”

Brown now says it was a “mistake” to court social conservatives and he wants to lead a party that is “fiscally conservative and socially liberal,” the Toronto Star reported Thursday.

“Frankly, I’m very comfortable with the fact that there’s been a falling out,” Brown told reporters. “I don’t lose any sleep over the fact that Charles McVety and Campaign Life are upset.”

Campaign Life Coalition (CLC) and evangelical leader McVety, president of the Canadian Christian College, were among social conservatives who endorsed Brown in his 2015 leadership bid based on Brown’s pro-life and pro-family voting record as a three-term MP, and his promise to repeal the Liberal sex-ed curriculum, a promise he reiterated in an April 2015 email to CLC’s Jack Fonseca.

With Brown now having reversed those positions, social conservatives are calling foul.

Indeed, McVety and Fonseca alleged in The Globe and Mail on Thursday that Brown told them during his leadership campaign he did not agree with same-sex marriage and was against abortion, and that they should not believe media interviews in which he stated otherwise.

McVety produced a text from Brown stating he “never” supported same-sex marriage, and that a Toronto Life article “misquoted me left right and centre” on these issues, reported the Globe.

Brown did not disavow the texts but told the Globe that McVety had misunderstood him. He also denied telling Fonseca and McVety that his private views on abortion and same-sex marriage were different from his public views.

“No, no. That is incorrect. I have said privately and publicly: When it comes to same-sex marriage, I support marriage equality,” Brown stated. “In terms of abortion, it’s the same thing. I’ve said I will not change the status quo and I will oppose any effort to do so as Premier. I’ve told them that privately and publicly.”

“Who wrote the letter?”

Social conservatives have already excoriated Brown for at least twice flip-flopping on the controversial Liberal sex-ed curriculum, with anger over his perceived betrayal running high during Wednesday’s sex-ed protest at Queen’s Park.

And the media and opposition MPPs have also kept the spotlight on Brown, with the latter chanting Thursday during Question Period: “Who wrote the letter? Who wrote the letter?”

That, of course, refers to the now infamous August 24 letter in which Brown promised to “scrap” the sex-ed curriculum if elected premier in 2018, and 13,000 copies of which were circulated in the Scarborough-Rouge River riding before the September 1 byelection.

After the media revealed the letter and amid reports that the PC caucus was outraged by it, Brown disavowed it an August 29 op-ed in The Star and stated that he supported the sex-ed.

He also denied any involvement with its provenance, but Parents As First Educators (PAFE) president Tanya Granic-Allen since told The Star, she understood Brown was, in fact, always in the loop during his staff’s secret negotiations with her group and Independent candidate Queenie Yu regarding the PC leader’s position on the sex-ed curriculum.

Critics of Brown, including CLC and PAFE, say the letter, circulated in both English and Chinese, helped PC Raymond Cho win the long-held Liberal seat, where opposition to the sex-ed is reportedly high.

Brown admitted to reporters for the first time Thursday to the behind-the-scene negotiations during the run-up to the byelection, reported the Star, but said it was “a mistake to even have talks” and that he “didn’t feel comfortable” with the strategy.

“Clearly, I thought it was a mistake and that’s why I made my opinions unequivocally clear — prior to the byelection — in the op-ed in the Toronto Star.”

So-cons sour on Brown should stay in PC Party

Brown now wants nothing to do with social conservatives, and even regrets voting against same-sex marriage and abortion as a Conservative MP, reported the Star.

“If Charles McVety wants his 10 bucks back for membership, he can have it. If he wants to vote for someone else, he can vote for someone else, so be it,” Brown said.  

“Frankly, I think they take more credit for any part of my leadership campaign than is merited. I went out and signed up 45,000 members.”

But no matter how sour social conservatives have gone on Brown, cancelling a membership in the PC Party would be a mistake, CLC told its supporters on Facebook.

“Let him say what he wants,” stated the national pro-life, pro-family political lobby group. “Social conservatives have every right to be involved in the party, just as every Ontarian does.”

While the experience with Brown could understandably lead pro-life and pro-family advocates to “give in to cynicism and avoid political involvement,” CLC told supporters, “we must not let his actions affect our work and obligation.”

Rather, “we must to continue to support pro-life and pro-family candidates — locally and in leadership — that come forward, regardless of party. We must continue to get involved at the riding level, becoming executive members, voting for board members, and influencing and voting on policies.”

“Patrick Brown’s dislike for you doesn’t change anything,” CLC stated. “Don’t give up.”