Former BC Liberal Premier Christy Clark has weighed in Mission’s municipal election, endorsing Dustin Hiles for mayor.
The endorsement released by Hiles’ campaign says the two politicians are long-time friends.
“Dustin is a natural leader. He has a vision, and the determination to get it done. His family first agenda will bring common sense back to city hall and jobs, investment and prosperity back to Mission,” says Clark, quoted in the endorsement.
Hiles has been vocal on social media about his anti-abortion views. Hiles says in the endorsement that the most important issues for Mission residents are housing affordability, poverty reduction, Indigenous reconciliation and lowering taxes, but doesn’t touch on abortion rights.
He recently received an endorsement from the Campaign Life Coalition (CLC), an organization opposing abortion and contraceptive pills, same-sex marriage, sex education, transgender-rights legislation, stem-cell research and the right to die.
He answered a questionnaire on July 12, receiving CLC’s top rating, where he stated he was against municipalities providing tax monies for “planned parenthood and similar sexual health agencies,” and would also oppose any local bylaw prohibiting protests outside of abortion clinics and pharmacies that supply abortion pills.
How can you be a "strong principled conservative" @GarnettGenuis if you support the #MURDER of 180,000+ babies everyday? @LeslynLewis is THE only choice 4 people of faith. We are NOT SoCon's we are men/women of #FAITH #islam #hindu #sikh #Christian @BCCatholic @CampaignLife https://t.co/4ZCJYzCIzO— Dustin Lee Hiles (@DustinHiles) June 1, 2022
Clark has often spoken as a guest on various panels about the importance of gender equity.
When asked via email about the conflicting viewpoints, Clark responded that she is “strongly pro-choice,” but worked productively with her anti-abortion colleagues in her caucus by focusing on the economy and job creation.
“I have never supported any candidate whose views align perfectly with my own on every issue. I doubt anyone has. Therefore, while I am a supporter, I don’t endorse every opinion Dustin holds,” Clark said.
“I care a lot about ensuring women have access to abortion and the right to make decisions about their own bodies.”
She added that women have rights protected by provincial legislation, which overrides municipal jurisdiction. Clark has previously defended the anti-abortion stance in federal elections, on various sides of the political spectrum.
She defended former Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, and former CPC Leader Andrew Scheer in 2019, when they faced criticism for their association with of anti-abortion candidates in their respective parties.
“So what? Should people who are pro-life be barred from participating in public life?” Clark said on social media at the time.
Hiles said he was honoured to have the support of Clark, saying her “incredible legacy” speaks for itself.
On Aug. 30, Hiles announced in a press release that he had another high profile endorsment.
The Honourable Peter Milliken, Canada’s longest serving Speaker of Parliament has endorsed Dustin Hiles to be the next Mayor of Mission.