Big Wins at the Conservative Convention
Last week, almost 3000 Conservative Party members gathered in beautiful, historic Quebec City for the Party’s first in-person national convention in four years.
Conventions are opportunities for grassroots party members to come together, deliberate over policy, encourage one another, and even elect new leadership.
Heading into this convention, we had our eyes on the fate of 30 policies up for debate and voting. Twenty-nine of them passed included several policies that align with ARPA’s policy recommendations.
Gender and Sexuality Policies
The biggest win was passing policy submission 1268 which read, “A Conservative government will protect children by prohibiting life altering medicinal or surgical interventions on minors under 18 to treat gender confusion or dysphoria, and encourage positive mental and physical health support for all Canadians suffering from gender dysphoria and related mental health challenges.”
Conservative parties, both federal and provincial, have been unwilling to question transgenderism. Thankfully, conservative governments in New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Manitoba have started to insist that parents must give consent for their child’s gender identity to be changed at school. This policy’s success at a major party’s national convention means many Canadians have had enough.
This policy – banning medical or surgical transitions for minors – is a recommendation in our gender identity policy report and is the focus of ARPA’s Let Kids Be campaign launching this fall. (Come to Fall Tour to hear more about this campaign and to join the fight to let kids be.)
Another policy that passed at the Convention calls for preserving single-sex spaces (e.g. prisons, shelters, locker rooms, and washrooms) and women-only categories in sports, awards, grants, and scholarships. One delegate – a fifteen-year-old girl – stood up to speak about how she and her younger sisters already have had to hide from male peepers in bathrooms. Allowing biological men to freely enter women-only spaces creates more opportunities for such abuse, and this policy recognizes the need to protect women’s privacy and safety.
In our policy reports on prostitution and pornography and our coverage of the evils of Pornhub, we have continually called upon the government to take stronger measures to combat human trafficking and pornography. The Conservative grassroots, already in principle opposed to these abuses, also passed a policy resolution calling for stronger legislation against these social ills.
Pro-Life, Pro-Care Policies
Although no policy on abortion made it to the floor of the convention, three pro-life policies were given the green light. The members passed a proposal to eliminate the GST on essentials for mothers and newborn babies, making it just a little easier for women to afford the costs of a new baby.
Another resolution enshrined the party’s opposition to expanding euthanasia to people with mental illness, to people whose death is not reasonably foreseeable, or to the disabled. The timing of this resolution could not be better. MP Ed Fast’s private member’s bill to stop the expansion of euthanasia to persons with mental illness will be debated and voted on in Parliament this fall.
Not only did the Conservative grassroots commit to not allowing the killing of these patients, they also passed a policy resolution to establish a right to palliative care. If euthanasia is a right (as some contend), how much more should access to palliative care be a right? Our policy report on palliative care pointed out how only around 30% of Canadians actually have access to palliative care when they need it, so enshrining a right to palliative care would necessarily add funds and attention to this important area.
One policy that passed was in response to the government’s extension of broadcasting control to include internet regulation. This policy declared that the Conservative Party would “protect freedom of expression in the public square, including media and internet platforms [and] in accordance of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. We will safeguard Canadians’ rights to create and access content on the internet without government sanctioned censorship.”
Another policy declared that “those employed in the public sector, unions or self-regulated trades/professions should not be forced to make affirmations or participate in ideological programs, as a condition of employment or practice.”
Finally, two policies reaffirmed the party’s stance that Canadians should “have the freedom and right to refuse vaccines” for moral and religious reasons.
We live in an era and a country that seems to be increasingly abandoning God and the moral precepts that He gives us in His law. But the many good policies passed at this convention give reason for celebration and thankfulness. The success of these policies at the convention was an answer to prayer and a sign of God’s grace.
Hundreds – possibly thousands – of Christians showed up to this convention. We would like to thank the many Reformed Christians across the country who dedicated many hours (and dollars) to fighting for justice and the common good, grounded in a Christian worldview, in this arena.
This is what Canada needs: Christians who are willing to organize, show up, speak, vote, and make a difference. Be a continued salt and a light in the political realm of Canada. We need this witness in every federal political party, every provincial political party, and every local political movement. Praise God for giving opportunities for action, and for blessing that action for the good of our country and our communities.