Did Maxime Bernier just fire a People's Party of Canada candidate to assist a Conservative anti-abortionist?
Even though Brian Misera's candidacy with the People's Party of Canada has been revoked, he's still saying positive things about his party.
"I just want to state for the record that the PPC attracts by and large great people who love Canada," the party's former standard bearer in Coquitlam–Port Coquitlam tweeted. "It was so nice to not be judged as a white male, but accepted as a proud Canadian.
"Don't believe me?" he continued. "Go meet your candidates and speak with them."
Misera was bounced after asking People's Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier to dissociate the party from far-right groups.
Misera made the request of Bernier after being called a "Canadian Nazi".
He's received some support on social media. One man criticized the party's highest-profile candidate in English-speaking Canada, Christian TV host Laura-Lynn Tyler Thompson.
She frequently condemns the trans-friendly SOGI 123 program in B.C. schools.
Tyler Thompson is also a vehement anti-abortionist.
In this regard, she's received some support from Bernier.
In May, the People's Party of Canada leader wrote a Facebook post decrying "over 20 cases of late abortion in Quebec".
Bernier also claimed that third-trimester abortions—"when the baby is fully developed and viable"—amounts to "infanticide".
"The PPC will not have any official position on this issue," he emphasized. "But when journalists asked me about it last week in Quebec and I said I would allow any MP to present a private member’s bill and have a debate, I was attacked by all the talking heads in the province."
Conservatives hope to defeat Ron McKinnon
Voters in the Tri-Cities area of the Lower Mainland supported former Conservative MP James Moore through four elections until he ended his political career in 2015.
Moore, a powerhouse in the Conservatives during the Stephen Harper era, was a strictly secular parliamentarian. He never tried to reopen the abortion debate and voted for same-sex marriage as far back as 2005.
Redistribution under Harper created the new riding of Coquitlam–Port Coquitlam, where 55.53 percent of the vote went Conservative in the 2011 election.
However in 2015, Liberal candidate Ron McKinnon eked out a victory by fewer than 2,000 votes. And it's a seat that the Conservatives hope to recapture in the October 21 election.
McKinnon was a member of the Liberal majority on the Commons justice committee that limited the number of witnesses that could speak about the SNC-Lavalin affair. This has increased his vulnerability.
In his first term, the former Amnesty International volunteer introduced a life-saving private member's bill, which passed. It provides people with immunity from prosecution if they call for medical assistance when someone is overdosing on illicit drugs.
Meanwhile, the Greens are running Brad Nickason, a graphic designer and artist who's on the board of the Evergreen Cultural Centre and the Port Coquitlam Arts Council. The NDP candidate is Christina Gower, a psychiatric liaison nurse.
Bernier's decision to revoke Misera's status as the People's Party of Canada candidate in Coquitlam–Port Coquitlam will likely help Conservative Nicholas Insley.
Insley was a top communications adviser to Michelle Rempel when she was a minister of state in the Stephen Harper government.
According to his bio, Insley has an MBA from the University of Oxford and he and his wife attend the Coquitlam Alliance Church.
Earlier this year, the B.C. Catholic reported that Insley attended a February 27 presentation by Alissa Golob, the founder of the anti-abortion group RightNow.
It was created to get anti-abortion candidates nominated and elected.
“What do we need in the pro-life movement to actually win? What we need is 170 pro-life MPs. We need 50 per cent plus one of the MPs in Parliament to vote pro-life,” Golob said, according to the B.C. Catholic. “We need to elect people who will at the right time stand up and vote the right way.”
Anti-abortionists supported Scheer over Bernier
After Scheer narrowly won the Conservative leadership race over Bernier in 2017, Golob issued a congratulatory news release.
"Andrew has always been a strong pro-life candidate that has defended the rights of members of Parliament to freely vote on these issues as well as bring them up in Parliament," Golob said.
Scheer, a practising Catholic and father of five, has promised not to reopen the abortion debate if he becomes prime minister.
But the presence of anti-abortion candidates on the Conservative slate has become a talking point for the Liberals.
Is it conceivable that Bernier bounced Minera to boost the likelihood of the Conservatives electing an anti-abortionist in Coquitlam–Port Coquitlam?
This question has not been posed by the mainstream media.
That's despite Bernier's stated opposition to late-term abortions, the presence of Tyler Thompson on his slate, and Conservative candidate Insley's appearance at a RightNow event.
Also in attendance at the RightNow meeting was Nelly Shin, a.k.a. Eden Rose, an adult-contemporary and Christian singer-songwriter.
Shin was parachuted in from Ontario to become the Conservative candidate in Port Moody–Coquitlam.
It was held by New Democrat Fin Donnelly, who isn't seeking reelection.
Shin is running against New Democrat and Coquitlam councillor Bonita Zarrillo, writer and brand marketer Bryce Watts for the Greens, and Liberal Sara Badiei, who's been an international humanitarian worker.
The People's Party of Canada candidate in Port Moody–Coquitlam is Jayson Chabot, a data analyst at Gordon Food Service.
In a little-watched YouTube video, Chabot frankly discussed the issue of vote-splitting with the Conservatives, but made no mention of the abortion issue.