Progressive Canadian Party
By David Bolton
runs pro-lifer against Belinda
'Elvis Priestley' out to beat former Conservative
leadership hopeful on home turf
He's "all shook up," has his "blue suede walkin' shoes" on and is ready
to hit the campaign trail.
Dorian Baxter, BA, OTC, M. Div. and aka "Elvis Priestly," is seeking
office as the MP for the new riding of Newmarket-Aurora in the upcoming
Shortly after he was ordained in 1983, Baxter adopted Elvis Presley
as his pulpit persona to try to counteract the influence of heavy metal
rock music on young people. Last year, Baxter, an Anglican priest, formed
his own church after the Anglican Church of Canada told him to stop
imitating Elvis in his services and denied him a licence to perform
Baxter, 53, who sings Elvis-style hymns for services, but saves the
Elvis jumpsuits for receptions, has not been defrocked, but is no longer
part of the diocese, and his church has no relationship with the Canadian
Baxter refused to abandon his "Elvis" ministry or his new church. "I
see myself as not leaving the church at all, but continuing the true
Anglican church's position, from which the present hierarchy has departed."
he told The Interim.
Since a story about him appeared in USA Today last year, he says he
has gained legal non-profit status for his church, and currently 80
to 110 people regularly attend Sunday services.
His persona may be all Elvis, but his message is conservative. Baxter
disapproves of the U.S. Episcopal church's first gay bishop, V. Gene
Robinson in New Hampshire. "I uphold the traditional teaching of Christianity,
which does not approve of same-sex marriage and does not approve of
homosexual practice," he says.
Baxter, who is father to two adopted daughters, has said that he also
opposes abortion and euthanasia and would work in Parliament to promote
the culture of life.
He insists he's always been a staunch Progressive Conservative, and
believes in a blend of fiscal responsibility and balanced social spending.
He also started an organization - the National Association for Public
and Private Accountability - that is active in reporting and seeking
redress in cases of abuse by the family court system.
Now, Baxter plans to revive the old Progressive Conservative party
- now to be known as the Progressive Canadian party - as a candidate
in the next federal election, in defiance of the merger that gave rise
to the new Conservative Party of Canada. He was acclaimed at a PC nomination
meeting in the new federal riding of Newmarket-Aurora - the same riding
where failed Conservative leadership hopeful Belinda Stronach will seek
her own party's nomination.
Denouncing the new Conservative party as an "unholy Alliance," and
describing the Liberal government a "a dynasty that has ruled without
checks and balances for more than a decade," Baxter promises to tackle
local issues like the cost of a phone call to Toronto - it's long distance,
while nearby Aurora can call for free - and a shortage of commuter train
service to the growing community.
Baxter is running under the guidance of Sinclair Stevens, former MP
and cabinet minister under Brian Mulroney. Baxter was handpicked by
Stevens as someone whose profile and media savvy made him a natural
choice to help put the PC party back on the political stage. Baxter's
campaign is being run out of Stevens' law offices in Newmarket.
David Bolton is The Interim's production manager and a resident