Have the B.C. Tories lost their minds?

Question of the week: can a heterosexist, anti-abortion, anti-First Nations, NDP-voting malcontent who hates progress lead the B.C. Conservatives out of the political wilderness?

Have the B.C. Tories lost their minds?

Question of the week: can a heterosexist, anti-abortion, anti-First Nations, NDP-voting malcontent who hates progress lead the B.C. Conservatives out of the political wilderness?

I sure hope not, but I fear B.C. Tory leader-in-waiting John Cummins could do a lot of damage in the attempt.

Cummins, who will be declared Conservative leader by acclamation at the party’s convention May 28, captured headlines in Victoria when he told CFAX listeners that sexual orientation should not be included as grounds for discrimination.

Cummins voted against adding sexual orientation as a ground for discrimination under Canada’s Human Rights Act when he was a perennial backbench MP in Ottawa. “I’m not a scientist, but some of the research tells me that there’s more of an indication that that’s a choice issue,” he said.

When pressed, Cummins said he believes people choose to be gay or straight. He apologized later at the urging of party officials, but it was a hollow attempt to backtrack.

As medieval as his views are, they represent just one element in Cummin’s portfolio of political paranoia. In the past he has told the Campaign Life Coalition that he opposes abortion under any circumstances. Further, he favours delisting abortion procedures from provincial medical plans.

In 2009, Cummins voted for the BC NDP. He made the staggering leap left because he hated everything the Liberals stood for.

His hit list of bad Liberal policy included: The expansion of Port Metro Vancouver, the upgrading of power lines in Tsawwassen, new rail and road infrastructure for the Gateway Project, the new convention centre, the run of river hydro projects and aquaculture.

He also lambasted the Liberals’ reconciliation legislation because it would “give about 30 yet-to-be created native groups aboriginal title to over 95 per cent of the province.” He hated the notion that “these groups will have veto power over development.”

A rational observer of the political landscape might scoff at Cummins’ potential voter traction. The sad fact is there is a significant kooky far right audience out there for Cummins’ poli-babble.

To identify this potential audience we only need to look as far as Burnaby where more than 250 citizens have been protesting the school board’s draft anti-homophobia policy.

Burnaby would be the 13th district in B.C. to approve a policy to reduce bullying of students who identify themselves as “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, or queer.”

Members of “Parents’ Voice” are offended by the policy’s definition of “heterosexism,” a belief that heterosexuality is “superior and the norm.” The proposed policy states that heterosexism “perpetuates negative stereotypes and is dangerous.”

My concern is that Cummins can capture the energy of such an ultra-conservative constituency and gain enough support from like-minded right wingers to split the free enterprise coalition, accomplishing something left wingers cannot do on their own … elect an NDP government.

This prospect is not lost on the Liberals. At their convention this past weekend, retired Tory MPs Stockwell Day and Jay Hill received a standing ovation.

Hill has blasted the “headstrong” Cummins for foolishly attempting “to breathe new life into another conservative party rather than working with Premier Christy Clark as the bona fide new leader of the coalition.”

Sadly, Hill’s admonition has not registered. M

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

Just Posted

The Sooke Fine Arts Show will be online again this year, showcasing unique artworks from Vancouver Island and B.C.’s coastal island artists from July 23 to Aug. 2. (File - Sooke News Mirror)
Sooke Fine Arts Show goes virtual for second year in a row

Art exhibition and show set for July 23 to Aug. 2

Vancouver Island Symphony conductor Pierre Simard is releasing his new synthwave album ‘Plandemic’ on March 5. (Photo courtesy Olivia Simard)
Vancouver Island Symphony conductor releasing side-project EP of electronic music

Pierre Simard, recording as Plan Omega, presents ‘Plandemic’

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
Vancouver Island children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Nanaimo-raised singer Allison Crowe with director Zack Snyder on the set of ‘Man of Steel’ in 2011. Crowe performs a cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah in the upcoming director’s cut of ‘Justice League.’ (Photo courtesy Clay Enos)
B.C. musician records song for upcoming ‘Justice League’ film

Allison Crowe’s close connection to director led to rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah

The Gordon Head Recreation Centre stands in as the Quimper Regional Hospital on Feb. 23 for filming Maid, a 10-part Netflix series. (Greg Sutton/District of Saanich)
Netflix transforms Saanich recreation centre into hospital for filming

Facility was closed to public Feb. 23 for filming of Maid

Steve Bick is coming out of his COVID cocoon with a curated compilation of original tracks by West Coast musicians. (Submitted photo)
Curated album showcases West Coast musicians

‘Locals Only – Volume One’ features an eclectic mix of tunes from musicians living on the Pacific Rim

WILDLIFE TREE: Tofino Poet Laureate Christine Lowther stands next to a giant cedar tree on District Lot 114, the site of Tofino’s controversial affordable housing project. The tree was pinned with an official Ministry of Forests yellow wildlife tree sign to educate fallers that the tree needs to be left standing for food, shelter and nesting. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Tofino author Christine Lowther calling for poetry about trees

“I’m thrilled to be of service to trees through poetry.”

West Coast-themed metal art by Nanaimo artists Hayley Willoughby (pictured), her father Jack and partner Blair LeFebvre is on display in the window of Lululemon at Woodgrove Centre from now until March 13 as part of the store’s monthly local artist program. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Metal artists present cross-generational show at Nanaimo’s Woodgrove Centre

Work by Hayley Willoughby, her partner and father on display in Lululemon window

Vancouver Island Symphony principal violinist and concertmaster Calvin Dyck is among the musicians performing in the upcoming Salmon and Trout concert. (Photo courtesy HA Photography)
Vancouver Island Symphony will make a splash with fish-themed quintets concert

Performance was to take place in November but was rescheduled due to COVID-19

Nico Rhodes, Lucas Smart, James McRae and Kosma Busheikin (from left) recorded their set for the Nanaimo International Jazz Festival’s online video series at the Harbour City Theatre in December. (Photo courtesy François Savard)
Music starts next week at online Nanaimo International Jazz Festival

Ten free, virtual performances to occur over three weeks in March

The original artwork created by local artist Emily Thiessen, is featured as the Commercial Alley’s eighth installation. (City of Victoria)
 The original artwork created by local artist Emily Thiessen, is featured as the Commercial Alley’s eighth installation. (City of Victoria)
Victoria calls for artists to fill Commercial Alley gallery

Competition open to artists in the Capital Regional District

Cowichan Valley author Teresa Schapansky’s books for young readers have become a phenomenon on Amazon. (Submitted)
Cowichan author tops Amazon charts

Award-winning author Teresa Schapansky learned of a need for low-level readers in the classroom

Nadia Rieger restocks some of the art supplies at the Crows Nest Artist Collective. Their move to stocking more art supplies over the course of the pandemic was a response to increased demand, which she thinks shows people have been turning to creating art to cope with mental health struggles due to lockdowns and restrictions on other activities. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror
Vancouver Islanders using art to conquer COVID blues

It seems people have been turning to their creative sides to stay mentally and emotionally healthy

Most Read