Monday, October 23, 2006

More Tory Pandering to the Religious Wrong . . . .

People say not to worry about mr. harper and his Conservative government appointing members of the religious "wrong" to positions in Canadian government. "Canada is not like the US" is the mantra. Well, maybe so, but stuff like this is still disturbing. We have seen the influence of this group here in the States and don't see it declining in the near future.

Beware, Canada . . . . .

From today's Vancouver Sun:

Reid appointment creates stir in Ottawa
Heated reaction to installation of former religious group president as political aide
BY MIKE SADAVA - CanWest News Service, with files from the Vancouver Sun

B.C. I Few government appointments have created as much of a stir in Ottawa as the naming of B.C.’s Darrel Reid as chief of staff to Environment Minister Rona Ambrose.
Acting Liberal Leader Bill Graham called it an “affront to democracy,” editorialists both attacked and defended Reid and even comedian Rick Mercer has ranted about the appointment.
Reid served five years as president of the Canadian arm of Focus on the Family, an American-based evangelical group influential with United States President George W. Bush.
Until 2004, Reid was the point man for the Langley-based Focus in attacking the federal government and the courts on issues such as abortion, samesex marriage and divorce. He lobbied for more Christian involvement in Canadian politics.
There are indications the decision to hire him as Ambrose’s top political aide came more from the office of Prime Minister Stephen Harper than from Ambrose, who is not known as religious.
“I heard there was not a whole lot of negotiating on this,” said a well-connected party member from Ambrose’s Spruce Grove riding in Edmonton.
Shannon Haggerty, spokeswoman for Ambrose, would not say who made the decision. “The Prime Minister’s Office and the minister have discussed this. These are details I don’t think are necessary to get into.”
Elan MacDonald, who ran Ambrose’s election campaign, said Ambrose is a fiscal conservative but not a social conservative.
Reid, 48, who is a native of Grande Prairie, Alta., has a PhD in history from Queen’s University and has published academically on Canadian federalism. In the 1990s, he served as then-Reform leader Preston Manning’s head researcher and chief of staff.
He failed at two election bids — for Reform in Ontario in 1997, and last winter for the Tories in Richmond, when he lost to Liberal Raymond Chan.
Just weeks before Reid won the Conservative nomination in Richmond, a group called DefendMarriage (B.C.) held a rally at Richmond city hall against gay marriage.
An e-mail — which began with the salutation “Praise the Lord” — went out to many of those who attended the rally, urging them to become Conservative party members and vote for Reid at the nomination meeting.
After Reid won the nomination, the president of the Conservative Party association in the riding, Charlie Horton, quit in protest, charging that the party was “getting dangerously close” to being overtaken by the religious right.
Ambrose’s office would not make Reid available for an interview, but he made his views public while with Focus.
During a conversation with Focus’s American founder, James Dobson, on a CD that was sold by the organization, Reid said he could run the risk of being incarcerated for opposing same-sex marriage because homosexuals are protected, under the Criminal Code, from hatred as an identifiable group.
“Sometimes I have to shake my head that what my parents understood, what the Bible teaches me, has become so obnoxious to some elites and to unelected judges in our country — I just can’t believe where we’re headed, unless God intervenes.”


Anonymous said...

In a word - scary. Okay, two words - really scary.

West End Bob said...

How true.

It still bothers me that a lot of folks don't show any concern over this trend in our future home. Apathy leads to what we are living with here in the States - not a good thing.

laura k said...

It's not apathy. It's a recognition of the very real differences between the two countries.

I appreciate the concern - we should all be concerned, and vigilant. But there are many differences that make it highly unlikely that Canada will go down the same path as the U.S. And they are differences that have been there for 50, 100 years - not just current trends.

There's a reason that Americans are more worried about this than Canadians.

laura k said...

And I say this as someone who was sounding the alarm - to deaf ears - about the Religious Right's influence in the U.S. in the early 1980s, not as someone who woke up to it in 2000.

West End Bob said...


Sure hope you're right about this.

The damage these people can do in a short period of time is extremely disturbing . . . .

laura k said...

They had a lot of help in the US. Their support in Canada is very, very small. They're truly fringe here. Although they'd like to get more power through Harper, if he bends to them too much, he'll never get elected, never mind the majority that he's seeking.