Harper's hidden agenda: an attack on our Charter rights.



Stephen Harper would fight same-sex marriage by trashing Charter rights.



Conservative party members have been silenced until after the election, in hope of preventing embarassing moments of truth when the electorate comes face-to-face with the wolf in sheep's clothing.



Commitment to Charter means no free vote on same-sex marriage.



PrideVision TV, a wholly owned subsidiary of Headline Media Group Inc. (TSX:HMG), is a digital specialty network providing programming of interest to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender ("GLBT") community and GLBT-positive viewers. Launched in September 2002, it is the world's first network of its kind to broadcast 24 hours a day, seven days a week across Canada.


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Adovcacy News - Harper's hidden agenda for Conservatives

June 17, 2004

Harper's hidden agenda for Conservatives
Only party that didn't respond to gay issues survey

Stephen Harper continues to hide from addressing his Conservative Party agenda: pillage the nation's treasury through tax cuts, and roll back social issues like GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender) rights, and women's rights. Harper wants to gain control of Parliament with a nudge and a wink. Conservative party members have been silenced until after the election, in hope of preventing embarrassing moments of truth when the electorate comes face-to-face with the wolf in sheep's clothing.

As we heard in the English-language debate on CBC television on June 15, Harper's handlers have asked him to follow Elsie Wayne's advice and just "shut up" when it comes to same-sex marriage. So it is not surprising, if disappointing, to learn that Harper's Conservative Party was the only major party not to respond to a survey on GLBT issues.

PrideVision TV surveyed the major political parties on GLBT issues in an effort to enable our viewers to make an informed decision on Election Day, June 28th. Identical emails were sent and followed-up with telephone calls to each of the Press Secretaries from The Liberal Party, The Conservative Party, The Bloc Québécois, The NDP and The Green Party.

All but the Conservative Party responded. The following questions were sent to each major party:

  1. What is your party's platform regarding GLBT issues? (i.e. your stance on retroactively providing Canada Pension Plan survivor benefits to same-sex couples, hate crime legislation, gender identity protection under the Canada Human Rights Act)
  2. a) Do you support same-sex marriage?
    b) Would your party ever consider using the notwithstanding clause to block same-sex marriage?

On the issue of gay marriage, all of the responding parties were in agreement:

External link to Liberal Party
The Liberal government believes that the best way to fully respect the two fundamental Charter rights involved in this issue – equality and freedom of religion - is to provide equal access to civil marriage for same-sex couples, while ensuring the protection of the freedom of religion.
External link to NDP
“I’m proud the NDP was the only caucus in Parliament to vote unanimously for same-sex marriage in 2003, and proud the NDP included equal civil marriage rights in our platform in the last election, long before the courts ruled.” - Jack Layton
External link to Bloc Quebecois
Our position regarding same-sex marriage is that it is a right that people have. Three courts of law have judged that same-sex couples have the right to get married.
External link to Green Party
The Green Party supports the community in its fight for same-sex marriage.

None of the responding parties would support the use of the Notwithstanding Clause in the Canadian Charter to block efforts to legalize same-sex marriage across the rest of Canada (Harper has said he would take away Charter rights, if necessary, in order to maintain marriage discrimination).

"We felt it necessary to offer our GLBT viewers an opportunity to see where the major political parties stand on issues related to our community in this national election, " said Renée Olbert, News Anchor for PrideVision TV. "We offered fair and equal opportunity for the major parties to speak via our Internet platform to our community. We encourage all members of our community to vote on June 28th."

PrideVision TV has posted the replies from 4 of the 5 major political parties on questions regarding their views of GLBT issues, same-sex marriage and use of the notwithstanding clause to potentially block same-sex marriage.

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