Social conservative extremist Tanya Granic Allen was removed yesterday from the Ontario Progressive Conservative candidate roster by leader Doug Ford after more of her homophobic bigotry was revealed.
Yesterday, the Liberals held a press conference to reveal a 2014 video of Granic Allen speaking at a Croatian-Catholic youth conference in Ontario,
in which she said:
“When I think of the suffering of the people who
lived in [Croatia] and the suffering that went on during the war, the
sacrifices of generations of families, was it all for nothing? Did these people spill these blood on the frontlines… for what? For a
values system and for the Catholic faith. But was that blood spilled
for nothing? What I hear about [Croatia] trying to push radical sexual education
on the young or gay marriage, you know I almost vomit in disbelief. How can this be happening? Just 20 years ago we were liberated from
this communism, and now we’re embracing a lack of values and a lack of
ideals that commies would have us embrace?”
Of course, this was just the latest example of extreme statements by Granic Allen. Before yesterday though, we didn't have video, which perhaps made the difference in changing Doug Ford's mind about her.
This is all incredibly ironic considering Granic Allen's leadership candidacy earlier this year was instrumental in bringing a whack of social conservatives back into the party, garnering her 15% of the vote in the first tally. About 80 per cent of that vote moved to Doug Ford on the second tally, which proved crucial to his eventual squeaker win over Christine Elliott.
It was clear that Ford was grateful to Granic Allen, calling her a friend and pledging that she "will play an important role in our government."
Even after some old blog posts of Granic Allen were revealed in which she
compared women wearing burkas to ninjas and disparaged gay marriage,
Ford still allowed her to contest and win the nomination in
But yesterday's video proved to be the final straw. I must say it's a wise and calculated move. I'm sure that Ford's advisers knew their party might soon be in trouble with the vast majority of Ontario voters who are moderate and have no problem with LGBT people were more of Granic Allen's homophobic extremism revealed. So those advisers no doubt pressed Ford hard to get rid of her and he listened.
"We are a party comprised of people with diverse views that if expressed
responsibly we would respect. However, the fact is her characterization
of certain issues and people has been irresponsible,” Ford said in the
This may be the first time I can remember Doug Ford has done the right thing on LGBT issues. When he was just a city councillor and general enabler of his late brother in Toronto, he refused to attend Pride parades and generally had nothing good to say about us. But clearly the responsibilities of provincial leadership are pressing upon him, not to mention pressure from Conservative advisers who know the public better than he does.
I have to say I'm quite relieved by this. I wasn't looking forward to Granic Allen possibly getting elected to Queen's Park next month. But now that won't happen.
I must also give kudos to the Liberal war room. This was their second successful hit against Doug Ford this week alone, the first being the
release of the video of Ford telling private developers in a secret
meeting he'd carve up the Greenbelt around Toronto for housing
development, which led to an instant backlash and full reversal of his plan one day later.
And now Granic Allen is gone as a result of yesterday's Liberal presser.
For those progressives wondering which of the two parties - the Liberals or the NDP - will form the biggest challenge to Doug Ford's Conservatives, I think it's pretty clear the Liberals are proving again it's them, forcefully knocking Ford off his game, forcing him to backtrack and flip flop. I expect that will continue.
I'll write very soon about the overall state of political affairs in Ontario as the election campaign officially gets underway this week.