Millroy: What a difference 24 hours can make


What a difference 24 hours can make.
If you are a candidate for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada, it turns out you can involve in that time period.

Peter MacKay can show you how.

In an email to supporters on the evening of April 30, according to a story in the National Post MacKay promoted the fact he’d voted against a 2012 bill that would have added gender identity as a protected category in the Criminal Code and the Canadian Human Rights Act.
Erin O’Toole, who’d recently been elected in a byelection and is also seeking the Conservative leadership, voted in favour.

“While I haven’t always agreed with (O’Toole), like when he voted in favour of the Transgender Rights ‘bathroom’ Bill in 2012, I’ve always respected that his motivations were positive,” MacKay said. “But I’m not so sure anymore.”

But on Friday, MacKay’s campaign issued a statement saying MacKay’s views have evolved and he is now fully supportive of transgender rights legislation. The statement also said MacKay will not use the phrase “bathroom bill” again, after having consulted with the LGBTQ community and understanding it has a “negative connotation.”

He held a view for eight years that was basically against gender rights but he managed to evolve, making a 180-degree turn in the process, in 24 hours.

Yeah, that’s what we all want in a leader.

Having said that, I am about to do the same thing myself, make a 180-degree turn.
On Feb. 4 I actually welcomed MacKay into the leadership race, figuring the Conservatives weren’t going to have all that much to pick from.

And if this present 180-degree turn of mine isn’t enough, I actually made a 180-degree in my column welcoming him into the leadership race.

Prior to that I wouldn’t have emptied my bodily fluid on him if he had been on fire.
After all, as I mentioned in that column on Feb. 4, he was the guy who sold out the Progressive Party of Canada after saying he wouldn’t.

His role in the merger with the Canadian Alliance:

MacKay had been chosen leader of the Progressive Conservatives in May of 2003, after brokering a deal with rival leadership candidate David Orchard. Orchard had thrown his support behind MacKay to break a deadlock in the leadership campaign, on the condition that MacKay vow not to merge the PC Party with the Canadian Alliance.

Five months after winning the PC leadership, MacKay was sitting side-by-side with Harper at the merger announcement. The new party was to be called the Conservative Party of Canada

The dropping of the Progressive was what angered me because to me it meant the party was moving to the right, away from the centre-right it had always been.

But in February of this year, 17 years later, I thought it was time to lay the pettiness to rest.
It lasted three months.

The 2012 legislation was Bill C-279, a private member’s bill proposed by the NDP’s Randall Garrison. Social conservative groups slammed the bill, arguing it could allow “biological males” into women’s washrooms — hence calling it the “bathroom bill.”

On a third-reading vote in March 2013, O’Toole and 16 other Conservative MPs supported C-279. Past leadership candidates Lisa Raitt, Michael Chong, Kellie Leitch, Chris Alexander and Deepak Obhrai all voted in favour, as did cabinet ministers John Baird, Jim Flaherty and James Moore.

MacKay voted against it, as did then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The argument about men going into women’s washrooms under gender rights rules is being fought out on a regular basis in the U.S. as well. I can’t see the problem. After all, there are no urinals in women’s washrooms, only stalls. If a male did get in, what is he going to see that he shouldn’t? Nothing, I would think.

I know as I sit here that I am being as shallow as can be in coming down on MacKay for making his 24-hour turnabout.

But all I can say is that the hurt he caused me when he sold out the Progressive Conservative Party obviously ran far deeper than I thought

I AM GLAD TO SEE the federal government has given up its fight against a court ruling that limited placement in solitary confinement to a maximum of 15 days.

I really couldn’t understand it doing so in the first place.

The government claimed the restriction placed the safety and security of all federal institutions, the inmates and the staff at high risk as there was no alternative recourse in dealing with recalcitrant inmates.

But studies have shown that depriving inmates of human contact for long periods can cause long-term harm, even permanent psychological damage.

If you follow the Internet at all, you will also find stories where the solitary stay has been overdone, where it almost seems that inmates have been put there and been forgotten.
The Ontario Court of Appeal in March of last year said placing prisoners deemed at risk to themselves or others in segregation for more than 15 days amounted to cruel and unusual punishment and therefore was unconstitutional.

It gave correctional authorities 15 days to end the practice.

I realize there has to be some punishment available in dealing with troublesome inmates, but the correctional services brought on the restriction themselves by abusing this punishment.
In the U.S. one man spent 43 years in solitary and another 35.

This means spending 23 hours a day in a small cell, eating, sleeping, defecating there, literally encased in concrete and steel.

Cruel and inhuman treatment. I would say so.


  1. I know a lot of you out there especially lefty ladies who agree with the “bathroom bill”, it’s all fine and dandy until maybe one day your 9 year old daughter comes out of the ladies room saying mom “there is a man in there”, I dont think you will be so defiantly trumpeting that man’s right to go into the little ladies room then , and its bound to happen to you someday it’s only a matter of short time.

  2. You’re right Mr. Millroy – your political comments are often on the shallow side.

    And about the solitary confinement – is it terrible for convicted criminals to endure some discomfort for the crimes they have committed, while many law-abiding citizens are in solitary confinement during a virus lockdown?

  3. MacKay will say anything to get the leadership but do not trust him because he is out for himself and will sell us out at the first opportunity just like he did the Reform party. He has not evolved it is just he realizes his opinions are unpopular. Sadly the Conservative party has become far right and emulates the republicans in America and we do not need that here. What ever happened to the grand old,party of the past? Sad to see them becoming petty,uncaring about average Canadians and bigoted.

    • Nancy, MacKay is being an opportunist, such is politics. It’s amazing this veteran columnist apparently doesn’t understand this?
      As for the Conservative party your observation is absolutely false. Some party members are more on the radical end of the spectrum, others aren’t. As usual People like you think any opinion that doesn’t mimic yours is bigoted.
      Meanwhile the Liberals, NDP and Green Party often show their bigotry but are given a pass because they’re ‘progressive’. Like the Conservative party they too have their radicals that are full of hate.
      If you really think the other political parties are not petty and care about the average Canadian you are viewing the world through rose coloured glasses.

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