CLC Blog

CLC Blog

Gerrit Van Dorland: Disqualified by CPC for being pro-life

A sub-committee of the Conservative Party of Canada has just disqualified Gerrit Van Dorland, the pro-lifer whom CLC endorsed for the Oxford nomination to replace long-time MP Dave MacKenzie.

We believe it was primarily because of Gerrit’s pro-life beliefs, and secondarily because Pierre Poilievre had his own preferred candidate in the race, a former staffer of his.

With Poilievre coming on as the new CPC Leader, and his promises of open nominations, respect for democracy, and his pledge to “remove the gatekeepers”, we thought things would be different than it was under Erin O’Toole and Andrew Scheer. Both of the latter men went on the warpath to disqualify pro-lifers and social conservatives.

We certainly hoped Poilievre wouldn’t become a “gatekeeper” himself, blocking popular grassroots conservatives from being able to run.

We thought the skullduggery of rigged nomination elections was over with O’Toole’s departure.

We hoped that the type of discrimination against social conservative nomination candidates practiced by O’Toole (and Scheer) was a thing of the past.

But under Poilievre, it appears the skullduggery has continued.

In this case, Poilievre even violated the party’s internal rules and endorsed his preferred candidate. The Leader is not supposed to take sides.

During their respective terms as Leader, Campaign Life Coalition was the first to call for the removal of O’Toole and Scheer. We spread the word to CPC members, EDAs, candidates and MPs to make them aware of their intolerable betrayals of grassroots democracy.

As more people became more aware, the wheels started to fall off their leaderships, and eventually, having alienated a huge part of their bases, they were fired.

We hope to avoid having to campaign for Poilievre’s removal as well. We don’t want another leadership race. But if we’re forced to, we’ll do it again.

The good news is there’s still time for the party to reverse this anti-democratic decision. There’s still time for the pall now spreading swiftly over Poilievre’s leadership, so early in his reign, to be pulled back, and confidence to be restored.

On Saturday March 18th, the full membership of the CPC’s National Council, the party’s governing body, consisting of 20 elected National Councillors, will be hearing Gerrit Van Dorland’s appeal of the disqualification. They’ll vote on whether to overturn the subcommittee's decision or to uphold it.

The CPC National Councillors need to hear from you as a paid-up party member who doesn’t want a return to the bad old days of Erin O’Toole-style, anti-democratic corruption. Please click here for a list of National Councillors and email them all. Ask them to overturn Van Dorland’s disqualification so that his name appears on the ballot.

Then, lobby your Conservative MP too, if you have one. If your riding doesn’t have a Conservative MP, considering emailing some in other ridings nonetheless. Ask them to put pressure on National Council (and Pierre Poilievre) to reverse this unjust disqualification. Click here for a list of CPC MP’s including their emails and constituency office phone #s.

Finally, contact the Conservative Leader’s office, and let Mr. Poilievre know that you want party democracy restored, and Gerrit Van Dorland’s disqualification overturned. Email him at [email protected].