Leader of the Opposition Andrew Scheer walks with Leona Alleslev, before Question Period on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Monday, September 17, 2018. Andrew Scheer’s second-in-command has apologized after comparing the Conservative leader’s decision not to march in a Pride parade to choosing not to take part in a St. Patrick’s Day parade. Leona Alleslev, who was named the Tories’ deputy leader earlier this week, made the comments on an episode of the CBC News radio show “The House” that aired this morning. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Tory deputy leader apologizes for comparing Pride, St. Patrick’s Day parades

Leader Andrew Scheer has not participated in any Pride parades

Andrew Scheer’s second-in-command apologized Saturday after comparing the Conservative leader’s decision not to march in a Pride parade to choosing not to take part in a St. Patrick’s Day parade.

Leona Alleslev, who was named the Tories’ deputy leader earlier this week, made the comments on an episode of the CBC News radio show “The House” that aired Saturday morning.

When asked if she had an issue with Scheer not attending Pride parades, Alleslev gave a response that drew online criticism.

“I think that’s obviously his choice and we live in a country where that’s his choice,” she said, referring to Scheer. “Have we asked anybody if they’ve marched in a St.Patrick’s day parade?”

Alleslev apologized for the comment on Twitter on Saturday afternoon, saying that the Pride parade is an important symbol in the fight for LGBTQ rights.

“I did not intend to make erroneous and hurtful comparisons — I apologize unreservedly,” she wrote.

In another tweet, she said she’s committed to being a progressive voice and ensuring equal opportunity exists in the Conservative party.

Over the summer, the Liberals lambasted Scheer for declining to participate in any Pride events and dug up 14-year-old video footage of him speaking out against same-sex marriage.

In August, then-public safety minister Ralph Goodale — who lost his seat in the October election — tweeted a short, edited video of an April 2005 speech Scheer gave in the House of Commons explaining his opposition to the Civil Marriage Act, which legalized same-sex marriage in Canada later that year.

VIDEO: Liberals dig up clip of Scheer opposing same-sex marriage in 2005

Scheer has softened his stance on same-sex marriage since the debates over the Civil Marriage Act, supporting a move to erase the traditional definition of marriage from the Conservative Party of Canada’s policy book at its 2016 convention.

Scheer has been touring the country to make his case to the party faithful that he should be allowed to continue to lead the Tories, even after losing the federal election.

He received a warm reception while speaking at the Alberta United Conservative Party’s annual general meeting on Friday, but a contingent of MPs and other party members have been calling for his resignation.

He’ll have a chance to fight for his spot at the party’s helm at the Conservatives’ convention in April.

Alleslev was first elected as a Liberal MP in 2015 in the Toronto area, but crossed the floor to join the Conservatives in September of last year.

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Petition calls for traffic light at intersection of Highway 97 and Skaha Lake Road

The area frequently sees collisions in the summer according to petition

VIDEO: Crews in Summerland film Christmas parade in July

Filming, on July 31, took place during the hottest days of 2020

UPDATE: Solco Creek fire east of Okanagan Falls now classified as held

13.8 hectare was classified as out of control until Aug. 3

EDITORIAL: Improving highway safety

Highway 97 has seen plenty of collisions and accidents over the years

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

UPDATE: Water bombers attack wildfire north of Sicamous above Shuswap Lake

Wildfire BC reports fire is still classified out of control, 25 personnel on ground

First degree murder charges for North Okanagan woman

59-year-old woman charged in Round Lake suspicious death incident

B.C. to allow customers to buy cannabis online for in-store pickup at private shops

Age verification will still be required inside the store

Interior Health expands COVID-19 testing access in Kelowna

First-come, first-serve, no-appointment-needed testing centre opens in downtown Kelowna

Paper mache Dr. Bonnie Henry stars in North Okanagan exhibit

Beyond the Mask art show kicks off in Village of Lumby

Shuswap pet nutritionist and raw diet advocate to be in national magazine

Sicamous’s Deanna Larocque building reputation for canine support

Most Read