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WOODSTOCK, Canada (ChurchMilitant.com) - Canada's so-called Conservative Party is allegedly barring a longtime supporter from running for office on the party ticket due to his pro-life views.
Last week, prospective Conservative Party candidate Gerrit Van Dorland was blocked by the party's National Candidate Selection Committee from running for office as a member of the Conservative Party. The party's leadership claims that Van Dorland didn't disclose certain required information. But his campaign manager says otherwise, and a pro-life political activism group called RightNow claims he was disqualified over his pro-life views.
Van Dorland's campaign manager, Bas Sluijmers, told the media, "The Conservative Party maintains that they are a party of open and fair nominations, and as such, we will be appealing this decision to the Conservative Party National Council."
But the National Council also barred Van Dorland from candidacy. In an online statement, the would-be candidate said he was "very disappointed" by the decision:
As a life-long Conservative supporter who has spent the past six years working for Conservative Members of Parliament, leadership campaigns, nominations, and general elections, I truly expected that my candidacy would have been treated with better faith. But I am more disappointed for the 2,500 Conservative members of Oxford who are signed up to support my campaign for faith, family, and freedom.
Arpan Khanna, another conservative running in the upcoming by-election to represent Oxford, wrote to the national committee asking for his would-be rival to be allowed to run and added that he was "disappointed to learn that Gerrit Van Dorland has been disqualified from the Oxford nomination. The Conservative Party and the National Candidate Selection Committee need to do the right thing and allow Gerrit to be on the nomination ballot."
Although Van Dorland hasn't said whether Conservative Party leadership explicitly condemned his position on abortion, he did confirm to Church Militant that he's "100% pro-life."
RightNow also told Church Militant that, based on the CPC's treatment of Van Dorland's candidacy, "we will be re-evaluating our relationships with the federal political parties, including with the Conservative Party of Canada."
RightNow further noted that the CPC seems to use "gatekeepers and party insiders" to suppress "the freedom of party members ... [to] make their own choices."
Laura Klassen, director of Canada-based pro-life organization Choice42, told Church Militant:
This whole situation boggles my mind because most of these politicians ... would never do anything politically that I would actually get behind. ... I am not a fan of the Conservative Party... . They throw around the label 'pro-life' at times, but they don’t do anything to protect babies in the womb from being slaughtered. So, I’m not surprised by any of this.
Such a tactic wouldn't be unheard of in Canada. In 2014, fake-Catholic Prime Minister Justin Trudeau forbade pro-lifers from running on his Liberal Party ticket: "I have made it clear that future candidates need to be completely understanding that they will be expected to vote pro-choice on any bills."
Last year, while campaigning for party leadership, CPC leader Pierre Poilievre pledged to support fair and open nominations. While it seems he's already broken that promise, Trudeau has kept his and is pushing one of the most radically pro-abortion political agendas in the Western world.
Trudeau's government has committed itself to broadening abortion in Canada and suppressing pro-life organizations and individuals. In 2021, Trudeau announced an initiative to strip pro-life pregnancy centers of their charitable and tax-exempt status. Last year, Trudeau referred to the overturning of Roe v. Wade as "horrific," and one of his cabinet ministers even told American women seeking an abortion to come to Canada. Shortly before the landmark decision, Trudeau proclaimed, "The right to choose is a woman's right and a woman's right alone. Every woman in Canada has a right to a safe and legal abortion. We'll never back down from protecting and promoting women's rights in Canada and around the world."
Trudeau also introduced legalized euthanasia in Canada, and his administration has attempted to expand euthanasia access.
Currently, nearly all major federal political parties in Canada require members to support pro-abortion legislation. The CPC allows members to vote according to their consciences but does not include pro-life principles in its party platform.
The CPC's decision against a staunchly pro-life potential candidate like Van Dorland signals the party is following in the footsteps of Britain's own Conservative Party.
Britain's so-called Conservative Party has, over the years, become what Brexiteer Nigel Farage called "Labour-lite." The party has failed, on nearly every front, to uphold conservative values and principles, but its worst failure has been in combating abortion, which it simply hasn't done.
Since abortion was legalized in Britain in 1967, the Conservative Party has done, as a group, nothing to fight against its promotion or expansion. Worse yet, the party has actively promoted and supported the spread of baby killing. The Conservative Party actually imposed abortion on Northern Ireland, while the devolved government there was struggling to form an executive. Less than two years later, in 2021, the Conservative Party tried to force the now-functional Northern Irish government to expand abortion access. And late last year, the Conservative Party's Secretary of State for Northern Ireland overruled both the local government and the health department to force an abortion expansion. Just days before, an overwhelming majority of Conservative MPs voted to enforce buffer zones around abortion mills, a decision that effectively banned prayer, protest and counseling, which resulted in the arrest of at least three individuals in Birmingham alone.
Pro-life MPs have become the vast minority in Britain's parliament. And if Canada's self-styled Conservative Party continues barring candidates like Gerrit Van Dorland, pro-lifers will become the vast minority in Canada too.