Vancouver-Langara's Michael Lee has earned the highest marks among B.C. Liberal leadership candidates, according to a vociferous anti-abortion group.
Right Now gave Lee a 67 percent rating based on "interviews with the candidates and evaluating them on their pro-life principles and policies along with their winnability".
Lee told the organization that on issues of abortion and euthanasia, he would allow freedom of conscience for backbenchers and cabinet ministers.
Lee said that he believes "all medical procedures involving minors should have parental involvement". He also called for a reduction in "sex-selective and late-term abortions".
"My parents met in Hong Kong in high school, where they both attended Catholic high school and from that background they enrolled me in the independent Catholic boys' school, Vancouver College, from grades one to twelve," Lee told Right Now. "My parents have a very strong work ethic; my father owned and operated pharmacies on the east side of Vancouver and my mother was a community health nurse.
"I grew up working in those pharmacies on weekends and attended church with my parents on Sundays," Lee continued. "I also learned a lot about love and compassion, and certainly service, by attending Vancouver College."
After the ratings were released, Lee issued a statement maintaining that he "does not believe in imposing his views on others" and would not be introducing legislation on abortion.
"Michael firmly believes that on matters of conscience, there should be free votes in the legislature," the statement added. "As a father of three, Michael believes minors should be provided the tools and resources to have a supportive conversation with their parents when facing potentially life-changing decisions. However, he recognizes this may not fit the circumstances of all young women and that parental involvement should not be mandatory."
Right Now's stated mission is "to nominate and elect pro-life politicians by mobilizing Canadians on the ground level to vote at local nomination meetings, and provide training to volunteers across the country to create effective campaign teams in every riding across Canada".
"It is only when we have a majority of pro-life politicians in our legislatures, that we’ll see pro-life legislation passed in our country," it states.
Right Now's second-highest rating for a B.C. Liberal leadership candidate, 48 percent, went to Sam Sullivan. That was followed by 44 percent for Andrew Wilkinson, 27 percent for Dianne Watts, 26 percent for Todd Stone, and 14 percent for Mike de Jong.
Sullivan told Right Now that he yearned for the time when Christianity "was the most motivating force in our country".
"I deeply lament that this has been lost," Sullivan said. "If we want to recover this we need to have thinking and actions that contribute to decisions through good arguments and not focus on trying to impose conclusions where there are legitimate disagreements based on scripture and reflection. Reducing Christianity to simple rules that come off as intolerance or lack of sympathy for the complexity of life has deep repercussions that have caused many people to turn away from all the other contributions Christianity should be making to our society."
Right Now is urging people to buy memberships in the B.C. Liberal party by December 29 so they can vote in the leadership race.