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Canadian Conservative leader ducks calls to apologise for bizarrely comparing gay marriage to dogs

Nick Duffy August 30, 2019
Andrew Scheer, newly elected leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, speaks at the party's convention in Toronto, Ontario.

Andrew Scheer, newly elected leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, speaks at the party's convention in Toronto, Ontario. (GEOFF ROBINS/AFP/Getty)

Canada’s Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer has refused to apologise over a resurfaced video of anti-gay comments.

In a press conference on Thursday, August 29, Scheer insisted his opponents were “hypocrites” for calling on him to apologise for a speech he gave about same-sex marriage in 2005.

In the speech to Parliament, Scheer had claimed: “How many legs would a dog have if you counted the tail as a leg? The answer is just four. Just because you call a tail a leg, doesn’t make it a leg.

“If this bill passes, governments and individual Canadians will be forced to call a tail a leg. Nothing more.”

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer: Political opponents ‘dredged up’ video.

Asked if he regrets his comments, Scheer said: “This was a debate that was a major change to an institution in our country, and many people expressed their views on each side of this issue.”

He insisted: “The issue is settled, and my personal views are that every single Canadian has the same rights under the law and I will continue to uphold that.

“It’s so hypocritical to reach back 15 years ago to try and divide Canadians on an issue that is settled, and is not going to be revisited, in a desperate attempt to distract from their failures.”

Andrew Scheer, leader of the Conservative Party of Canada
Andrew Scheer, leader of the Conservative Party of Canada (SEBASTIEN ST-JEAN/AFP/Getty)

Scheer refused to explicitly say whether he had actually changed his opinion about same-sex marriage.

He said: “This issue was settled in 2005. Parliament had a vote, Canadians had their say in two elections, and society has moved past that.

“I accept that, and the prime minister will always uphold the law as it stands…. it’s a question of, as prime minister, I will ensure the equality of rights for LGBT Canadians.

“I have always believed there is inherent dignity and self-worth in every single human being.”

Scheer continued: “Most Canadians are surprised that the Liberals are attempting to dredge these things up… the Liberals search for these kinds of things to try to divide Canadians.”

Hitting out at the Liberal prime Minister Justin Trudeau, a strong supporter of LGBT+ equality, he said: “Trudeau can’t run on his record.

“He can’t possibly defend all his broken promises, massive deficits, tax increases and ethical and corruption scandals.

“That’s why he’s dredging up divisive social issues trying to distract Canadians from his litany of failures.”

Justin Trudeau faces uphill election challenge.

The Conservative Party have a narrow polling lead ahead of the October 21 election, as they seek to oust Trudeau.

Jagmeet Singh, the leader of the third-largest New Democratic Party, has said his party would not prop up a government led by Scheer because of his views.

Singh made clear: “We can’t trust Mr Scheer or his caucus to champion the fundamental rights of Canadians.”

More: Andrew Scheer, Canada, Conservative, Justin Trudeau

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