Tory deputy leader apologizes for comparing Pride, St. Patrick’s Day 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.

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.

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

Just Posted

Thunberg brushes off mockery from US finance chief

DAVOS, Switzerland — Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg has brushed off criticism… Continue reading

Statistics Canada says retail sales rose 0.9 per cent in November

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says retail sales climbed 0.9 per cent in… Continue reading

Alberta landowners urge farmers to cut power to wells with unpaid debts

A group of Alberta landowners is asking farmers and ranchers to fight… Continue reading

Saskatchewan lab joins global effort to develop coronavirus vaccine

SASKATOON — As Canadian public health agencies prepare to deal with a… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: The basics you need for your body type

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Your community calendar

Jan. 22 Downtown House Senior Center (5414 43 St.) in Red Deer… Continue reading

David Marsden: Drug addicts deserve our care

The provincial government, rather than seizing an opportunity, is flirting with putting… Continue reading

Wheels in Motion: Canada’s Mitchell a quick study in track cycling

MILTON, Ont. — Canada’s Kelsey Mitchell returns this weekend to where it… Continue reading

Women’s players hope NHL All-Star Weekend helps their cause

ST. LOUIS — Annie Pankowski got an email from the NHL asking… Continue reading

Juno-nominated folk band the Jerry Cans to set out on nine-city Canadian tour

TORONTO — Iqaluit folk-rock ensemble the Jerry Cans are plotting a Canadian… Continue reading

Taylor Swift shakes Sundance with revealing documentary

PARK CITY, Utah — The normally private Taylor Swift premiered an intimate… Continue reading

Second day of search yields no sign of French snowmobilers missing in Quebec

ST-HENRI-DE-TAILLON, Que. — It was an exuberant group of French travellers who… Continue reading

Local Sports: Tyler Podgorenko’s presence with the Kings being felt

The biggest question surrounding the RDC Kings hockey team going into the… Continue reading

Most Read