N.L. Tory leader boots Michael Normore, candidate with anti-abortion, anti-gay views — a day after backing him

by - 4 min read

N.L. Tory leader boots Michael Normore, candidate with anti-abortion, anti-gay views — a day after backing him

by - 4 min read

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Newfoundland and Labrador Tory Leader Ches Crosbie says a candidate with staunch conservative views won’t be a member of his party after the May 16 election.

Crosbie said Michael Normore’s name will remain on the ballot as a Progressive Conservative candidate, since advance polling has already taken place. But that’s where the relationship ends.

“If elected, he will not be in the PC caucus,” Crosbie told reporters on Friday morning.

Crosbie said Normore was vetted prior to becoming a candidate and he was aware of his personal views.

Crosbie supported Normore when questioned by CBC on Thursday, but said he was shown social media posts afterwards and saw “unfortunate comments the candidate made on social media which are incompatible with the values the PC party represents and with my own values.”

Crosbie’s initial comments

On Friday, CBC News reported Normore’s views on gay marriage, abortion and immigration after speaking with the candidate himself and reviewing his social media posts.

“I’m conservative and I’m not in favour of same-sex marriage,” Normore said earlier this week. “That’s the way I was brought up.”

Normore stressed those opinions don’t supersede the work to be done in his district.

“The issues of the people of the [south Labrador] coast certainly come first,” he said.

On Thursday, Crosbie said he doesn’t agree with Normore’s conservative views but still supported him as a candidate.

Ches Crosbie chats with a constituent at a Tim Hortons coffee shop in Happy Valley-Goose Bay Thursday morning as he toured central Labrador. (Jacob Barker/CBC)

“I think he’s a fine candidate and will represent the constituents of that district on the issues that are truly important to them,” Crosbie said as he toured central Labrador on Thursday.

“The fact that he has conservative views on those issues, [that] he recognizes are a matter of personal opinion — there are others like him out there, and since it’s a democracy, we have to respect that we have people representative of the full spectrum of opinion,” Crosbie said.

“Mr. Normore is part of that spectrum.”

Crosbie told CBC News his own views on abortion and same-sex marriage are on the liberal end of that spectrum.

“I think the way the law is, is the way it needs to be,” Crosbie said.

He said he believed Normore sought to represent the “bread and butter” issues, such as health care and transportation, that he has been hearing going door to door in his district.

On immigration and abortion

Normore previously posted on social media about immigration, abortion and gay rights.

“So true!” it reads at the top of a post, which no longer appears in public view on Normore’s Facebook account, that linked to an article decrying a same-sex marriage decision in the United States.

When it comes to immigration, he said he welcomes new Canadians making their homes in Newfoundland and Labrador.

“I’m all for immigration,” Normore said. “We need new people coming into the province.”  

I think that a human life is a human life at conception and I don’t believe in abortion just because a woman wants an abortion.– Michael Normore

But Normore said he also believes in more thorough background checks before newcomers are admitted into the country.

“You have to know who you’re letting in, so that we’re not letting criminals and whatever come into our country,” he said. “Lots of them that come in … are criminals, so we’ve got to have a good vetting policy in place.”

Under Canadian immigration law, convicts for crimes ranging from theft to driving under the influence can be deemed criminally inadmissible.

A post on Michael Normore’s Facebook page from 2015 linked to an article decrying the U.S. Supreme Court decision requiring states to grant same-sex marriages. It no longer appears publicly on Normore’s page. (Jacob Barker/CBC)

Normore also declares himself personally against legal abortion, except if a woman’s pregnancy puts her life in danger.

“I would go along with abortion as a way to save her life,” he said. “Otherwise I think that a human life is a human life at conception and I don’t believe in abortion just because a woman wants an abortion.”

He said if a prospective voter has concerns about his position on these issues, they aren’t obligated to support him.

“My personal beliefs are my personal beliefs, and you can’t just change that to get a vote … they got a choice, they can vote for me or they can vote for Lisa Dempster, that’s up to them.” 

Not a politician

Normore, a 63-year-old retiree, doesn’t live in the district, instead residing in the Humber Valley area. 

“I’m building a house in L’anse au Loup. I started it last year and am going to complete it this summer,” he said.

Normore worked as a federal fisheries officer in Labrador throughout the 1980s, living in Cartwright for seven years and St. Lewis for two years. He said he moved his family to the island of Newfoundland and trained in nursing after the moratorium on the fishery took hold.

“I’m not a politician,” he said. “I never had any political aspirations.” 

Normore lives in the Humber Valley now, but says he’s building a home in L’anse Au Loup. (Michael Normore/Facebook)

However, Normore said he thinks people on on the southern coast of Labrador and in the straits are “fed up” with the representation they’ve been getting under the Liberal government.

On Thursday, Normore said there have been no discussions of issues like same-sex marriage, abortion or immigration while he’s been out campaigning. His plan is to hit every home in the Cartwright-L’anse Au Clair district.

“I’m telling them that I’ll be a voice for them, they’ve been ignored for too long,” he said.

“I’ll do whatever I have to do to bring their issues to light.”

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

This story originally appeared on CBC

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