Leader of the Opposition Andrew Scheer walks with Leona Alleslev, before Question Period on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Monday, September 17, 2018. Andrew Scheer’s second-in-command has apologized 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 this morning. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

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

Leader Andrew Scheer has not participated in any Pride 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.

VIDEO: Liberals dig up clip of Scheer opposing same-sex marriage in 2005

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.

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

IHIT has been called to a home on Nelson Court in Maple Ridge on Thurs. Oct. 29, 2020 (Neil Corbett/ The News)
UPDATE: Man dead, woman injured in stabbing incident in Maple Ridge

Investigators were called to home on Nelson Court and have one person in custody

The Service Canada office in downtown Maple Ridge reopened on Wednesday. (Neil Corbett/The News)
Dalton rises in House of Commons to ask for Service Canada office opening

Office in Maple Ridge had been closed since start of pandemic, opened Wednesday

Maggie Coles-Lyster leads the pack during the annual racing of Jeremy’s Roubaix on Sunday.
After long break due to pandemic, bike racing returns to BC

Rock the Ridge brings racing back to Pitt Meadows Sunday

BC NDP candidate Lisa Beare said her party would replace Pitt Meadows secondary if re-elected. (Special to The News)
Election promises should bring new secondary school to Pitt Meadows

School board will be talking to new education minister soon: Carreras

Burnaby RCMP responded to a dine-and-dash suspect who fell through a ceiling in March 2020. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Suspected dine-and-dasher falls through ceiling of Burnaby restaurant

A woman believed to be dashing on her restaurant bill fell through the kitchen ceiling

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna Mountie hit with 2nd lawsuit in 2 months for alleged assault

Const. Julius Prommer is accused of breaking a woman’s knee during while responding to a noise complaint

Hirdeypal Batth, 24, has been charged with sexual assault and forcible confinement in relation to an incident in August 2020. (VPD handout)
Man, 24, charged with sex assault after allegedly posing as fake Uber driver in Vancouver

Investigators believe there could be more victims outside of the Vancouver area

B.C. Premier John Horgan and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee arrive for annual Cascadia conference in Vancouver, Oct. 10, 2018. They have agreed to coordinate the permanent switch to daylight saving time. (B.C. government)
B.C. still awaiting U.S. approval to eliminate daylight saving time

Clocks going back one hour Nov. 1 in Washington too

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with US Vice-President Joe Biden on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, December 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
A Biden presidency could mean good news for Canadian environment policy: observers

Experts and observers say even a U.S. outside the Paris agreement may ultimately end up in the same place

People take a photo together during the opening night of Christmas Lights Across Canada, in Ottawa, on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. The likelihood that most Canadians will enjoy a holly jolly Christmas season of gatherings, caroling and travel is unlikely, say public health experts who encourage those who revel in holiday traditions to accept more sacrifices ahead. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Ho, ho, no: Experts advise preparing for a scaled-back COVID holiday season

Many of the holiday season’s highlights have already been scrapped or are unlikely to take place

Sen. Kim Pate is shown in Toronto in an October 15, 2013, file photo. The parliamentary budget office says a proposed law that would give judges discretion on whether to apply a lesser sentence for murder could save the federal government $8.3 million per year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel
Judicial discretion for mandatory minimum sentences for murder would save $8.3M: PBO

The result would be fewer people in long-term custody at federal correctional institutions, experts say

Most Read