Five ridings to watch
Conservative MP Gary Lunn is Minister of State (Sport) and won re-election by nearly 2600 votes in 2008 over Liberal Briony Penn, but this time he is facing Green Party leader Elizabeth May and the other left-of-centre parties are pulling back their efforts in an apparent attempt to help her knock off the incumbent. Lunn is rated pro-life and pro-family by CLC and has a perfect 11 for 11 voting record on issues of importance rated by the national pro-life organization (with one absent vote). May has become an outspoken proponent of abortion both in Canada and abroad, calling upon the government to renew funding for International Planned Parenthood and to include abortion in its maternal health initiative.
In 2008 Kelly Block won her first bid for federal office by a mere 253 votes. The NDP are gunning for her and the Conservatives consider her among the few vulnerable incumbents. She has been outspokenly pro-life and pro-family, rising in the House of Commons to speak in favour of pro-life initiatives and against pro-abortion ones, attending pro-life conferences in her home province, and garnering a perfect four-for-four on moral issues rated by CLC since being elected. NDP challenger Nettie Wiebe, who came within a sliver of beating Block last time, is back for another round. The NDP is officially pro-abortion.
Liberal MP Paul Szabo was first elected in 1993 and has a solid pro-life voting record on abortion, euthanasia, and reproductive technologies, and has worked behind the scenes to promote protection for all human life. CLC rates him pro-life. However, despite originally voting against same-sex “marriage” he voted against re-opening the issue in 2006 and in 2010 voted in favour of extending special protections to people who self-identify as transgender or transsexual. Szabo, who won by less than 2,000 votes in 2008, has faced non-pro-life opponents in the past so the decision to support him has always been easy, but this year he faces Conservative candidate Stella Ambler. She answered her questionnaire and like Szabo is rated pro-life by CLC. Jim Hughes, national president of CLC, says that his organization will inform supporters both are pro-life and says that he hopes more ridings will have multiple pro-life candidates. “Having to pick from more than one pro-life candidate is a nice problem to have,” Hughes told The Interim.
First term Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth, a former Catholic school board trustee, is solidly pro-life. He has taken part in the National March for Life and stood in support of the women of Silent No More during their press conference on Parliament Hill. But in 2008 he beat incumbent Liberal MP Karen Redman by 339 votes and is considered among the most vulnerable Conservative MPs. She is seeking to reclaim her old seat, and according to her voting record and her 2008 CLC rating, Redman is pro-abortion, pro-euthanasia and anti-traditional family. CLC is encouraging supporters to vote for Woodworth.
Conservative candidate Marty Burke is 100 per cent pro-life according to the questionnaire he returned to Campaign Life Coalition before the Writ was dropped. He faces Liberal incumbent Frank Valeriote, whois pro-abortion and won in 2008 by about 1800 votes. Last year, Valeriote voted in favour of Bob Rae’s motion to force the government to include abortion as part of its maternal health initiative at the G8. The motion was defeated 138-144. Jakki Jeffs, executive director of Alliance for Life Ontario and a constituent, told the Guelph Mercury she was offended at Valeriote trying to pass himself as a Catholic and a supporter of abortion: “he can’t serve two masters… You can’t profess to be Roman Catholic and then promote the idea of induced abortion.” Valeriote also voted against a bill that sought to outlaw coercive abortion and voted to add transgender and transsexual to the list of specially protected groups under Canada’s hate crime and human rights law. CLC has strongly encouraged area supporters to vote for Burke.
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