The following was submitted to The Prince Rupert Northern View by Rod Taylor, former leader of the CHP and federal candidate for Skeena – Bulkley Valley
The Christian Heritage Party of Canada held its triennial national membership convention last week in Abbotsford, BC. This convention also marked CHP’s 25 years as Canada’s only solidly pro-life federal party. Members converged from across the country to discuss policies, elect new members to the national executive and to renew their commitment to the leadership and direction of the party.
National Leader, Jim Hnatiuk of Nova Scotia, spoke on the convention theme of “Setting Our Sails for Tomorrow.” A former sailor, Mr. Hnatiuk spent 25 years in Canada’s Navy and was able to bring a personal touch to the metaphors of shipbuilding and navigation. His remarks were enthusiastically received by those in attendance who reaffirmed their support for his leadership.
The convention featured a series of plenary sessions in which members agreed on improvements to the party constitution, policies and platform statements. Items of discussion included: provision for integrating digital participation in future party deliberations, more flexibility in local district organization, reducing the cost and red tape involved in adoption, the approval of CHP’s unique Family Care Allowance, firearms policies, integrity analysis of candidates, immigration policies, health care and pensions, life and justice issues and more.
In addition to the plenary sessions, delegates also participated in a series of workshops and presentations. Presenters included Jakki Jeffs, from Alliance for Life Ontario, the sponsor of “We Want the Debate”, Michael Coren, Sun News host, speaking on the challenges we face in a biased media environment, former CHP Leader Ron Gray, speaking on today’s abhorrent slave trade, Jordan Bateman, BC representative of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, CHP Surrey members Adam Vandenhoven and Paul Jubenville who shared insights on photography, videography and electronic elements of campaigning and the Lethbridge Youth Caucus who led youth and others in a discussion of engaging youth in the issues of the day. There were also information tables for the 180 Project and Prayer Canada as well as tables hosted by supportive businesses.
In regard to establishing the new national executive for the next three years, Luke Kwantes, of Smithers, BC, was chosen to serve as the new National President. Peter Vogel, of Bowmanville, Ontario will serve as Vice President. Martha Sjaarda from St. Ann’s, Ontario has become the National Secretary and Ron Benell of Portage La Prairie, Manitoba takes on the job of National Treasurer. Jim Hnatiuk reaffirmed his appointment of Rod Taylor of Telkwa, BC, as his Deputy Leader.
The CHP Canada delegates also were introduced to the leaders of the two first provincial wings of the party. Wilf Hanni is the Interim Leader of CHP British Columbia and Colin Atkins leads the fledgling CHP Manitoba which is in the process of registering as a provincial party there.
The convention was rounded out with a Gala Dinner featuring keynote speaker, Michael Coren and a Candidates’ Appreciation Brunch on Saturday morning was followed by a short meeting of the new national board. Many members expressed their appreciation, enthusiasm and intent to continue to work hard to provide a credible political party with comprehensive solutions for the challenges of the 21st Century.