Alberta Politics

10 Conservative candidates in Alberta endorsed by radical anti-abortion group

Nearly one-third of federal Conservative candidates running in Alberta ridings have been endorsed by the controversial Campaign Life Coalition for their opposition to women’s reproductive rights, according to a report from Press Progress.

Nearly one-third of federal Conservative candidates running in Alberta ridings have been endorsed by the controversial Campaign Life Coalition for their opposition to women’s reproductive rights, according to a report from Press Progress.

Known for its vocal anti-abortion position, the Campaign Life Coalition has taken strong positions in recent years against Gay-Straight Alliances in schools (which they describe as “homosexual-activist clubs“) and against Ontario’s new health and physical education curriculum (which they describe as ‘radical sex ed curriculum‘).

The ten Alberta Conservatives are part of a group of 86 Conservative candidates from across Canada who have received endorsements from the organization. Nine of the ten Alberta candidates on the list are men and six are incumbent MPs running for re-election (even Stephen Harper is deemed “not supportable” by this organization).

The four first-time Conservative candidates on the endorsement list are Calgary-Confederation candidate Len WebberSt. Albert-Edmonton candidate Michael CooperSherwood Park-Fort Saskatchewan candidate Garnett Genuis and Lethbridge candidate Rachael Harder.

These four candidates, along with Mr. Hillyer, responded to a questionnaire from the Campaign Life Coalition affirming their opposition to women’s reproductive rights. The other five Conservatives were endorsed based on their voting records and public statements.

According to the organization’s website, Mr. Cooper “has been actively involved in the pro-life movement for many years and is known to CLC leaders.”

Here are the links to the ten Alberta candidates report cards and questionnaire responses:

  1. Blake Richards (Banff-Airdrie)
  2. Kevin Sorenson (Battle River-Crowfoot)
  3. Len Webber (Calgary Confederation)
  4. Jason Kenney (Calgary Midnapore)
  5. Mike Lake (Edmonton-Wetaskiwin)
  6. Chris Warkentin (Grande Prairie-Mackenzie)
  7. Rachael Harder (Lethbridge)
  8. Jim Hillyer (Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner)
  9. Garnett Genuis (Sherwood Park-Fort Saskatchewan)
  10. Michael Cooper (St. Albert-Edmonton)

Campaign Life Coalition also endorsed six Christian Heritage Party candidates running in Alberta ridings.

22 replies on “10 Conservative candidates in Alberta endorsed by radical anti-abortion group”

I think this is a bit misleading as a headline. The fact that the Campaign Life Coalition endorses the candidates does not mean that they sought that endorsement. The connotation here seems to be that they should be considered lesser candidates because an organization approves with their values more than other candidates. There are a number of NDP and Liberal candidates that have been affiliated with more radical groups or organizations than this and they have not stepped down or felt any need to apologize for their affiliation. In a number of these cases the candidates chose to affiliate with these entities themselves. Provincially Rod Layola praising chants to Hugo Chavez comes to mind especially. Normally you are good at being unbiased, but to suggest these candidates are potentially radical is not becoming of you.

Cooper’s Catholic, though why he wouldn’t come right out and say so is beyond me.

I don’t know why anyone would be apparently mystified by Michael Cooper’s stance on reproductive rights, or a website that lists answers to questions — then deletes them.

Perhaps being Catholic doesn’t go over so well with evangelicals, most of whom voted for Harper.

Doug Cooper? Not Michael’s brother by any chance? It would be really interesting to know a little more about Michael since there doesn’t appear to be anything except education, volunteer work, and his membership in the Alliance before riding along under the PC banner.

Wow, how dare these people disagree with the far left who wants abortion legal throughout all nine months of pregnancy for any or no reason at all.

These people shouldn’t be able to run for office! Why don’t we just strip them of their right to vote. That would be very pro-choice of us to ensure that Canadians can’t choose to vote for pro-life candidates!

Clearly the only tolerant people are the NDP and Liberals who won’t even let pro-life candidates run for their party! So what that the Canadian Supreme Court in the Morgentaler decision actually told Parliament to rewrite the abortion law. Anyone who disagrees with the right to choose to dismember a preborn child clearly shouldn’t be allowed to participate in the democratic process!

Usually, abortions are only performed past viability if the woman is in danger or there is a fetal abnormality. No woman goes in for an elective abortion at 9 months. Please educate yourself.

“Are there any circumstances under which you believe a woman should have access to abortion? (note: Medical treatments to save the life of a mother and which result in the UNINTENDED death of her unborn child, are NOT abortions. Eg. in case of tubal pregnancy or cervical cancer)”

Webber, Cooper, Hillyer, Genuis and Harder answered NO.

The best-articulated position on abortion I have ever heard was uttered by a fictional character on a TV show: Congressman Matt Santos on the West Wing, who was both a practicing Roman Catholic and pro-choice. He said, “I believe abortion should be safe…legal… and a lot more rare than it is now”, which is undoubtedly a commentary on the economic and social conditions that lead to a woman seeking to terminate a pregnancy.

Abortion pits the undisputed right of a woman to control over her own body, against the “rights” of a fetus. This is a difficult moral quandary, but just as we do not force an individual to donate blood or organs to save the life of another, we cannot force a woman to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term. It’s sad, but that’s the way it has to be. However, the best solution is to ensure free and ready access to effective contraception, combined with effective sexual health education in schools and evidence-based public policy around the social determinants of health that impact on these decisions.

I personally agree with with U.S. vice president Joe Biden’s position on the matter. While he personally disagrees with abortion, he does not feel he has dominion to overrule the rights of others to choose. While some fundamentalist organizations, are using this issue of abortion, purely as a political stepping stone, they fail to realize a broader, more respectful live and let live live attitude, will give them far more respect and political legitimacy. While these fundamentalist prolife organisations find abortion in any form or reason to be abhorrent, they don’t think war and loss of life is as abhorrent, even though many more die in war. While many of these people are good righteous people, It seems they are often quick to choose war over diplomacy. While I would like to see less abortions in society, it should be realized that cherry picking social issues as a political platform is self limiting, self marginalising, preachy and actually does little to nothing to dissuade people from choosing abortion. At the best it activates a few staunch grass rooters at the small base they appeal to.

Special interest groups promoting their agenda is nothing new. However headlines that make insinuations that an individual expresses the same views as the special interest group are full of deceit. Have these persons expressed their endorsement of this special interest group?Have they expressed some view they may concur with but not the entire special interest agenda?

Perhaps we should respect these individuals enough to read or listen to their views and not lump them together with some group pushing their agenda and confusing issues .

Glad to see that someone is standing up against the slaughter of innocent children. Murder is not a “right”, daveberta.

Easiest way to achieve your political goals: Play up the opposing spectrum of political opposition as ‘off-centre’ or even better “radical”! Also, the easiest way to be a political activist and remain an ‘unbiased journalist’.

Mark, in Dave’s defence, I don’t think he’s ever claimed to be an unbiased journalists. He seems to be fairly open about his political leanings.

This is a lowbrow post Dave – I am disappointed in you, and fairly surprised. I smell a little desperation …

Care to name a group further to the right of these guys? One that hasn’t actually killed or bombed anyone. If there is no one further out than you on an issue, yeah, you are a radical.

Why should the removal of tissue be “rare?” Why should we have any moral qualms about abortion if it doesn’t take the life of another human being?

By the way, parents alreast have moral and legal obligations to their – chils and of these obligations is not to kill the child! That isn’t extraordinary care like providing your liver. In the case of pregnancy, a mother’s uterus is necessary to keep her offspring alive. In mammals, the uterus actually serves no biological purpose for the woman except to house her offspring. In other words, there is no imposition in the child to live insider her mother’s womb anymore than a nursing baby “imposes” herself when she drinks her mom’s breast milk – both are there for the child’s sustenance.

The state already forces both mom and dad to use their bodies to take care of their child, even if they don’t want that child – that’s why people pay child support. Protecting preborn human life is merely extending that obligation to the point when human life actually begins.

And no just because you believe and advocate for that biological fact, that should NOT disqualify you from running for office in Canada as this “gotcha” list implies.

The anti-abortion issue is a big item for many conservative politicians; but once the babies are born, they don’t seem to give a dam. What about the missing and murdered women, what about living conditions on reserves, homelessness, child poverty? Where are those pro-lifers on those issues ?

Stephen Harper seems to attract quite a variety of loonies and it is frightening to think that these people may govern the rest of us.

I have been more or less campaigning to see Harper out, for a long list of reasons (omnibus bills, proroguing parliament, not enough supports for the poor, no inquiry into missing or murdered indigenous women, pulling out of the UN anti-drought whatsit, too much focus on dirty energy, and a silly emphasis on the niqab) – but I confess abortion makes me deeply uncomfortable.

The key hangup in the mostly dormant ‘debate’ is that we don’t agree on when the being inside should become a legal being with separate rights. Certainly I have an easier, though still not easy, time with early abortions than late-term, which basically strike me as equivalent to infanticide…

Anyway, here’s my point: if you knew an organization that put orphaned, unwanted toddlers to death regularly, would you have trouble supporting them? I hope so. And though we should always try to note our blindspots, nothing should keep both women and men from campaigning against something that were actually infanticide. The sticking point is that pro-lifers see abortion as exactly that – at least, after a certain point in fetal development). I think many proponents of choice would hesitate if they saw photos of the fetus in development (or even moreso, after it has been aborted), or simply could get away from the relentless groupthink that seems to now dominate this issue.

So this election? I still don’t know who I’ll vote for. I’ve never voted Conservative, and probably still won’t. But NDP and Liberals appall me in other ways.


I tend to think that there are a number of people who would share your sentiments. I am referring specifically to your uneasiness with late-term abortions.

I would like to modify one of your statements, only slightly, to further elucidate an important point. You wrote, “The key hangup in the mostly dormant ‘debate’ is that we don’t agree on when the being inside should become a legal being with separate rights.” I would like to remove the subjective element so that it reads, “The key hang up….is: when does the being inside become a being with personal rights?”

It seems to me that as long as someone’s honest answer is ‘I don’t know’, then what we have is the best answer for why we should not kill it; otherwise, the logic becomes, ‘if I do not know whether or not that thing that may be human is human, then it is ok to kill it’.

Would we accept this method of reasoning under different circumstances?

I do not know whether or not it is a deer in the bushes or my fellow hunter: what do I do? Shoot it! I do not know whether or not this building that is being demolished has any people left in it: what do I do? Knock it down!

This is why I felt that Kitchener MP Stephen Woodworth’s motion in 2012 “to review the declaration in Subsection 223(1) of the Criminal Code which states that a child becomes a human being only at the moment of complete birth” was reasonable.
It would have addressed the uneasiness that so many have towards late-term abortions by answering for us what we, as a Country, claim not to know.

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