Last week, MP Arnold Viersen posted a statement explaining why he did not stand up when the Conservative Party presented a motion to expedite Bill C-4, an incredibly dangerous bill that bans conversations between parents and children, parishioners and pastors. It was gratefully received by many who wanted to know how many social conservative MPs could sign off on this law. Now, pro-life MP Cathay Wagantall has released a clarifying statement. Again, other MPs should do the same. I understand why many are hesitant, but it is important to note that their last public position on this issue was to support unanimous consent by their silence. That is what history has recorded, and it is what we all witnessed.
From ARPA Canada:
We received the following message from MP Cathay Wagantall and have her permission to share it with you:
“I want to express what I believe you already know. Bill C-4, was passed at all stages through a unanimous consent motion of the House on December 1st.
I was and continue to be opposed to C-4 in its current form and could and should have said no, but I did not.
Would the outcome have necessarily changed? No; however, our duty as Members of Parliament is to provide all sides of the debate with the opportunity to be represented in the House on this and any legislation.
In the previous Parliament, I raised my concerns about Bill C-6’s flawed definition in the House of Commons and voted against it at third reading. I wanted testimony on the record and had hoped our amendments would be implemented at committee. However, much to my dismay, that was not to be the case.
My belief is that C-4 further challenges the rights of LBGTQ2 individuals by pre-determining personal outcomes that are the right of any individual to determine for themselves.
Had there been a recorded vote on C-4, I would have voted against it. I have serious concerns about the lack of scrutiny on the bill, which has been raised by concerned Canadians and politicians across the political spectrum.
With C-6, Liberals delayed the legislation to right before the election, which allowed us to prevent it from becoming law. I believe they saw the opportunity to use their messaging on conversion therapy as a wedge in the election as more important than passing their bill at that time.
Had we won the election, we would not be in this situation. I have always believed that conversion therapy is wrong and should be banned; I’m disappointed that we did not form government, as our platform indicated we would bring forward our own bill on conversion therapy if we formed government.
This time, however, the reality is that the Liberals made C-4 their first priority to ensure it would pass. In spite of that reality, I know how disappointing it was to you to not have the flaws of C-4 challenged in the House of Commons. I deeply regret I did not speak up. Your disappointment pales next to my own.
Make no mistake, many of my colleagues and I will be working with parents, pastors and legal experts to develop legislation that protects parents’ and faith leaders’ ability to have conversations with individuals seeking clarity on their personal life decisions.
My colleagues and I feel strongly that a future Conservative government needs to introduce a law to reaffirm that religious freedom is a fundamental right and to fix the definition of conversion therapy in the Criminal Code.
Member of Parliament
Yorkton – Melville (SK)
We thank MP Wagantall for this clear statement. May God bless her as she stands for truth in the public square.