A Conservative leadership hopeful is asking supporters if they think the most pressing issue in Canada is the “decline of traditional values” or “out of control political correctness.”
Andrew Scheer speaks at a Conservative Party of Canada leadership forum in Winnipeg on Jan. 19, 2017. (Photo: John Woods/CP)
The campaign team of Andrew Scheer sent out a survey Sunday to test opinions on different topics — from whether a carbon tax can really help fight climate change to the Saskatchewan MP’s push to see property rights added to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Perhaps the most intriguing question asks supporters to choose what they see as the “most important issue facing Canada today.”
Ten other issues are listed in addition to the ones dealing with “traditional values” and “political correctness,” including:
- Environment and climate change
- Health care funding
- Carbon taxes
- "Weak economy”
- Crime and safety
- The notion that taxes are too high
- "Lack of leadership"
Screengrab from the Scheer campaign survey.
Later, the survey asks if supporters consider “social issues” as more significant or equally as important as those dealing with the economy or foreign affairs.
The Huffington Post Canada reached out to Scheer’s campaign to explain what it means by the “decline of traditional values” and “out of control political correctness.”
Nancy Bishay, a spokesperson for Scheer's campaign, says the topics came from conversations the MP has been having with Canadians.
"We just chose the top few and put them out there for others to give their opinions," Bishay told HuffPost in an email.
Scheer, 37, is known as a social conservative and has won the support of many like-minded MPs. Yet he pledged at the start of his bid that he will not reopen debates on abortion or same-sex marriage if he becomes prime minister.
Scheer told AM980 in December that, under his leadership, social conservatives will be permitted to vote their conscience on moral issues but should not expect to get “every policy wish that they’d like.”
“I have always voted pro-life, and that is a core conviction that I have,” Scheer said. “Our policy also says that a Conservative government will not introduce legislation on that issue, so I respect that.”
Though Scheer voted against gay marriage, he did not vote on a contentious motion in 2012 asking to study when life begins — largely seen as an attempt to revive the abortion debate — because he was serving as House Speaker at the time.
Voted against transgender rights bill
Scheer voted against the Liberal government’s doctor-assisted dying legislation last year, as did leadership rivals Lisa Raitt, Maxime Bernier, Steven Blaney, Erin O’Toole and Brad Trost.
But Scheer and Trost were the only two Tory leadership candidates to vote against the Liberals’ transgender rights bill last October, which seeks to make it illegal under the Canadian Human Rights Act to discriminate on the basis of gender identity or expression.
Chong, Bernier, Raitt, Blaney and Deepak Obhrai supported the legislation, which easily passed second reading by a vote of 248 to 40.
Conservatives will pick their next leader on May 27 using a ranked-ballot system.
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