‘Who am I to judge?’: Alberta Conservative leader flip-flops on pro-life and marriage
EDMONTON, Alberta, April 15, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Whether United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney will be Alberta’s next premier will be decided Tuesday.
An April 9 Ipsos poll showed the UCP ahead of Rachel Notley’s governing NDP by eight points, and public engagement in the election is high, with a record number of Albertans — nearly 700,000 — casting ballots in advance polls, as reported by CBC.
But while Kenney’s victory is not yet in the bag, there’s no doubt that the UCP leader’s views have changed since his impeccable pro-life, pro-family voting record as a federal Conservative Member of Parliament, says pro-life lobby group Campaign Life Coalition.
A recent telling example is Kenney’s interview with aggressively liberal Alberta radio talk show host Charles Adler, during which Kenney reiterated that he accepts homosexual “marriage” and quoted Pope Francis’ “who am I to judge” when it comes to abortion. (For full transcript, go here.)
In the April 3 broadcast, Alder accused Kenney as a student in San Francisco 38 years ago of taking part in an campaign to ban homosexual individuals from visiting “their dying lovers, dying of AIDS” in reference to the city’s proposed LGBTQ “spousal” law.
Kenney opposed the measure because he could foresee it leading “to change in the definition of marriage, which ultimately, one would argue, it did. And now I acknowledge that the political and social mores has [sic] changed on those questions,” he told Adler.
“I regret the position I took then, and I’ve said I was wrong to do so,” Kenney said.
Despite Adler’s grilling, Kenney did not say he supported abortion.
“I see it as a difficult choice that women make, and that we should not judge. You know, I’ll quote Pope Francis on this: ‘Who am I to judge?’” he said.
Kenney has stated from the outset as UCP leader, his party would not introduce legislation on abortion. He reiterated this to Adler.
“The law on this question in Canada is settled,” he said. “There hasn’t been a debate in Parliament since, I think, 1988 on restricting access to abortion.”
“It’s really sad to witness this once great Catholic pro-lifer devolve into just another liberal who dutifully repeats the leftist talking points forced on him by the media,” says Jack Fonseca, director of political operations for Campaign Life Coalition.
That was echoed by Campaign Life president Jeff Gunnarson.
“It’s unclear if Jason Kenney is afraid to be criticized by the liberal, pro-abortion media or if he has completely abandoned his faith with regards to life and family issues. I hope it is the former and if it is, he is misinformed and has succumbed to the errant, politically correct state religion that is LGBTQ-plus,” said Gunnarson.
“What this country needs is a leader who will stand up for his principles; who believes that what is good and dignified for its citizens is a critical part in not just winning elections but sustaining that win for many terms,” he told LifeSiteNews.
“To sell one’s soul for a few years of power is a losing deal,” added Gunnarson.
Adler also berated Kenney for attracting “knuckle-draggers” to the UCP and grilled him over remarks by Drayton Valley-Devon MLA Mark Smith that Adler described as “misogynistic crap” and “homophobic sewage.”
Smith was elected in 2015 for the Wildrose Party and is running for re-election for the UCP, which formed in July 2017 when the Wildrose and Progressive Conservative Parties merged.
In a 2013 sermon, posted on the website of Calvary Baptist Church in Drayton Valley, Smith said this:
What is love? You know, it’s all around you. I think there’s a real misguided sense of when we try to understand what love is.
And we were just at the pro-life conference here, and there are some people that would argue that it is a more loving thing to abort your child into bring it in, unloved, into the world. That’s love. It’s loving to abort your child, to kill your child rather than to have it born and maybe not have perfect life. I mean, Robert Latimer — murdered his daughter and called it love.
You don’t have to watch any TV for any length of time today, where you don’t see on the TV programs, them trying to tell you that homosexuality and homosexual love is good love. Heck, there are even people out there, ... I could take you to places on the website, I’m sure, where you can find out that there’s uh, where pedophilia is love[.]
Kenney told Adler he condemned the remarks as “deeply offensive to many people, and I think objectively so” but that Smith has “unequivocally apologized.”
“Smith’s remark was entirely accurate,” Fonseca told LifeSiteNews. Kenney’s reaction “calls into question whether Kenney is even ‘pro-life’ anymore. If you deny that killing babies in the womb is unloving, how on earth can you call yourself pro-life?”
Adler contended that Kenney is supported by several “far-right, pro-life organizations” and “beholden” to the Wilberforce Project, Right Now, Parents for Choice in Education, the Justice Center for Constitutional Freedoms, and Rebel Media.
Kenney dismissed the idea as “completely ridiculous.”
“I get attacked, often viciously, on almost a daily basis, by Rebel Media. I have basically no contact with most of those organizations,” he said. “I am my own person. I am accountable to the members of my party, to my constituents[.]”
The UCP leader “has clearly abandoned his Catholic beliefs on marriage as a the union of one man and one woman, and the entirety of Catholic teaching on the sinfulness of homosexual acts,” Fonseca told LifeSiteNews.
Adler also blasted Kenney for wanting to “out” homosexual students with his plan to scrub NDP’s Bill 24, which forbids schools from telling parents when their child joins a GSA.
Kenney defended his plan, saying that while the UCP supports GSAs, teachers should have the discretion to decide when to tell parents what is happening with their child at school.
When Adler blasted him on having no openly homosexual UCP candidates, Kenney said he has “actively encouraged openly gay Albertans to seek our nominations, including people who work in my office and I’m proud of the effort that they made. ”
He described the UCP as representing “the diversity of today’s Alberta” with “Sikh, Jewish and Muslim and African and Hindu candidates, and yes, we have Christian candidates too.”
If Kenney becomes premier as expected, he will have “tremendous ability to influence public policy and legislation,” Fonseca told LifeSiteNews.
“It’s going to be very important after the election for pro-life and pro-family supporters in Alberta who have access to Premier Kenney to support and encourage him, and try bringing him back to his moral senses on all these issues,” he said.
“Kenney can be a force for good if he wants to be.”