Leader Andrew Scheer of Conservative Party of Canada will not be participating in Pride parade this year.
The office of Scheer has confirmed that he has ‘no events planned at this time,’ with the Toronto’s summer Pride season underway this month.
Scheer spokesperson Daniel Schow in defence of the decision said that that the Conservative party’s “proud history of fighting for the rights and protection of all Canadians, including those in the LGBTQ community, at home and abroad.”
There are “many ways to support these communities” and “he will continue to stand up against hatred and discrimination in all its forms,” says Scheer’s office.
The Tories have advocated for increasing the number or LGBTQ refugees Canada takes in, advocating for LGBTQ rights in other countries, and criticizing human rights violations against the LGBTQ people in countries like Brunei and Russia.
Scheer in a recent policy speech stated, “I find the notion that one’s race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation would make anyone in any way superior or inferior to anybody else absolutely repugnant. And if there’s anyone who disagrees with that, there’s the door.”
The personal political record of Scheer on supporting LGBTQ rights in Canada includes voting against legalization of same-sex marriage in 2005, and supported in removing the Conservative party of Canada’s definition of marriage as between woman and man in 2016.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Conservative Leader Lisa Raitt defended Scheer’s decision to miss out these celebrations, adding that she’ll be attending some of the summer Pride activities.
“There’s going to be lots of our members who are going to go to parades in their communities and that’s what they choose to do. Andrew’s not going but it has nothing to do with whether or not he’s going to stand up for the human rights of all humans,” Raitt said.