The Conservative Party- Suspicious

In my newspaper columns leading up to the Canadian election on September 20, I am going to assign a word to each of the three major political parties in the race and explain why I have chosen that word. My column this week looks at The Conservative Party.

The cover of the Conservative Party’s 160-page plan for Canada

I spent a long time perusing the detailed Conservative Party Platform made public just a day after the federal election was called.   The plan Erin O’ Toole’s party has crafted for citizens to consider during the campaign sounds ambitious and addresses many areas of concern to me. But the Conservative pitch to voters also leaves me feeling somewhat suspicious. 

I did a search for the words, climate change in the Conservative campaign plan, and they are mentioned twenty-five times. The Tory plan includes an eight-page section on climate change in which Mr. O’ Toole clearly states that climate change is real, the Conservatives are committed to fighting it and will provide resources to mitigate its effects. 

As this chart of an Angus Reid Poll from Macleans shows the majority of Conservatives don’t see climate change as a serious threat.

Yet at the Conservative Party’s most recent policy convention, they could not rally a majority of their party members to vote in favor of a motion stating climate change is real. This makes me a little suspicious of the potential success of Mr. O’ Toole’s proposed strategy for fighting climate change. Will he have the support he needs from his party to carry it out?

The Conservative campaign plan states clearly that if Conservatives form the next government, they will not support any legislation that would regulate abortion.  That’s reassuring for someone like me who believes a woman has the right to control her own body. 

Conservative Party Candidates endorsed by Campaign for Life (note that Derek Sloan is no longer a member of the party)

But what makes me just a little suspicious is that forty-four members of the current Conservative caucus have been endorsed by the Campaign for Life organization as supporters of anti-abortion efforts and Mr. O’ Toole has continued to allow his caucus to introduce private member’s bills to regulate abortion. 

Although the Conservative campaign plan promises to stand in solidarity with LGBTQ citizens being persecuted in other countries and facilitate their immigration to Canada, no specific mention is made in the Conservative playbook of supporting our country’s own LGBTQ population.  

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole voted to ban conversion therapy in Canada but many in his caucus did not

I admit I get suspicious of whether a Conservative government would support and protect LGBTQ Canadians when sixty-two Conservative members of Parliament voted against criminalizing conversion therapy which aims to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. It is a practice that medical professionals condemn as extremely harmful and highly ineffective. 

Photo by cottonbro on

One thing the Conservative government has been clear about in their election plan is that they will not fund the ambitious childcare program the current federal government has already brokered agreements for with eight provinces, including Manitoba. The Liberals have a plan to increase the number of childcare spaces, improve wages for childcare workers and make $10 a day childcare a reality for parents.

Erin O’ Toole plans to funnel childcare money to families instead, based on their income, so he can reward parents who decide to stay home with their children, and help parents who he claims can least afford childcare.  While the Conservative’s plan will put more money to pay for childcare in the hands of parents, how will it help to improve working conditions and wages for childcare workers or create the additional childcare spaces needed?   

Photo by Naomi Shi on

I’ve talked with the parents of young children looking for daycare spaces about the long waiting lists they face. Money can’t buy a daycare space that doesn’t exist. I am suspicious about whether Canada can establish a universal quality childcare system unless a Conservative government would agree to invest in childcare infrastructure, rather than just handing out cash to parents. 

If I had to sum up my feelings about the Conservative Party in this election in one word it would probably be suspicious.            

Note: Of course there are many other issues that are important to me in the upcoming election- reconciliation with Indigenous Canadians, the need to improve conditions in personal care homes, the pandemic, poverty and homelessness.

Other posts……….

Universal Childcare A Wise Investment For Canada

Does a Female Finance Minister Make A Difference?

Sex-Selective Abortion

Steinbach Pride- Homecoming, Forgiveness, Hope

1 Comment

Filed under Canada, Politics

One response to “The Conservative Party- Suspicious

  1. Robert Way

    Thank you MaryLou for your analysis of this party. I agree wholeheartedly with this choice, suspicious. I wait with bated breath to see the other Party words you have chosen.
    My suspicions of the Conservative election proposals went into alarm-bell-ringing stage when I watched Mr. O’Toole’s campaign video in which he touts their plan to balance this extensive give away budget within 10 years. That is to say, they believe they will get into office and remain there for that period. My suspicion is that nothing will prevent them from doing very little but spend for the first few years toward that goal to pay back their supporters, saying that the magical balancing act is upcoming, when in fact the history of Canadian politics does not support a lengthy run in office.
    Of course we would have to wait and see.


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