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

Prominent Slocan Valley environmental activist dies

Marilyn Burgoon was ‘tough and determined’

UPDATED: Man dies in backcountry near Whitewater Ski Resort

The victim was found unresponsive in a tree well Friday

Ktunaxa, supporters celebrate protection of Qat’muk and the Jumbo valley

Speeches, acknowledgements and ceremonies mark an emotional gathering in Cranbrook

Jumbo Valley to be protected, ending decades-long dispute over proposed ski resort

Development rights permanently retired for site of proposed year-round ski resort west of Invermere

VIDEO: Soldiers trade rifles for snow shovels to help dig out St. John’s

A state of emergency is set to extend into a fifth day

Warm ‘blob’ could be behind mass starvation of North Pacific seabirds: study

Unprecedented death toll raises red flag for North American marine ecosystems

ICBC to bring in ranking system for collision, glass repair shops

Change comes after the much-maligned auto insurer has faced criticism for sky-high premiums

‘It was just so fast’: B.C. teen recalls 150-metre fall down Oregon mountain

Surrey’s Gurbaz Singh broke his leg on Mount Hood on Dec. 30

B.C. woman crowned the fastest female marathon runner in Canadian history

Malindi Elmore ran an incredible 2:24:50 at the Houston Marathon

Alberta bulldog breeder ordered to refund B.C. buyer over puppy’s behaviour

Tribunal ruled a verbal agreement to send a new dog superseded the written contract

Cariboo Memorial Hospital on the mend after cold weather wreaks havoc

Burst pipes and water leaks cause three different incidents

Dog reunited with Tofino owner, months after being taken from beach

Shannon Boothman ‘ecstatic’ at pet’s return after a tip leads to social media search

Most Read