National election spotlight turns to Okanagan Greens and their views on abortion - InfoNews

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National election spotlight turns to Okanagan Greens and their views on abortion

Robert Mellalieu, Green Party.
October 04, 2019 - 2:21 PM

KELOWNA - Okanagan candidates came under scrutiny this week for expressing what was interpreted as anti-abortion sentiment in a national survey.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh said the Greens are wobbly on abortion rights and questioned party leader Elizabeth May’s vetting of candidates on the abortion issue, pointing to Marc Reinarz (North Okanagan-Shuswap), Robert Mellalieu (Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola) and Greg de Luca (Brossard-Saint-Lambert), as Green candidates who have anti-abortion leanings. 

“Elizabeth May and (Conservative Leader) Andrew Scheer have said they will allow a free vote on abortion, while Jagmeet Singh and (Liberal Leader) Justin Trudeau have said they will insist MPs support the right to choose,” the NDP statement said.

In a recent interview, May said her candidates do support a woman’s right to choose.

We asked this same question of the candidates in question weeks ago and found they did have some unusual answers.

“Neither the Green Party of Canada nor I as a candidate, plan to address this matter,” Reinarz told InfoNews when asked alongside his other North Okanagan-Shuswap candidates.

Mellalieu was more specific.

"The Green Party of Canada and I will uphold a women’s right to choose. However, I abhor abortion. We must do more. Many women, while they have the right, they do not have the opportunity. To ensure women genuinely have the opportunity to exercise their rights, we must do much more to prevent, educate and support."

He said doing more includes: Sex Education K-12, tested free contraception, total health care and support form conception to age 2, streamlined adoption systems, increased parental leave, laws to ensure the having a child is not a detriment to one’s career and an information campaign to reduce the stigma of unwed parenting.

"Then women will have the right and the choice," he said.

To find out what candidates said in the Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola, check here.

For Kelowna-Lake Country candidates' views, check here. 

Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo candidates also weighed in.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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