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

IN PHOTOS: 2020 Wilgress Lake Fishing Derby

Fishermen dotted Wilgress Lake for the Boundary Métis Association’s annual event

Grand Forks marches against gender violence

The Grand Forks march was part of 1 Billion Rising, a global movement against gender violence

Midway mill shutdown expected to last 8 to 10 weeks

Vaagen Fibre Canada cites low inventory, road restrictions as reason for shut down

First presumptive case of coronavirus identified in the Interior Health region

The woman, in her 30s, travelled from Shanghai and lives in the interior

Students test out future careers with WorkBC visit

By far, WorkBC tour manager said, the airplane pilot station was a favourite

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

Trees Cannabis director fined $1.5M for selling marijuana

Fine follows provincial crackdown on popular dispensary

World Cup skier from Okanagan dies suddenly at 19

Kuroda, who made his World Cup debut earlier this year, passed away suddenly Monday night.

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

Police narrow down timeline in death of woman in West Kootenay

West Kootenay Traffic Services and BC Coroners Service working on the case

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Teen snowmobiler from Kelowna found after air force’s overnight search

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

Most Read