WINNIPEG — Tory Leader Brian Pallister says a Progressive Conservative board member is entitled to state her views on sex education, even if they don’t reflect the thinking of the provincial party.
Candace Maxymowich, a 20-year-old Louis Riel school board candidate in the fall election, raised eyebrows Tuesday when she tweeted that abstinence is the only acceptable form of sex education.
She is listed on the PC Manitoba website as the youth rep on the party’s board of directors, although Pallister said Wednesday that as a candidate for public office, she is obliged to take a leave of absence.
“Just to be clear, the lady’s position is her position. It is not the position of the party,” he said.
“Any person standing for public office, whether it’s civic, provincial, federal, has a right to state their position. We’re freely supportive of that as far as the candidate’s position. That is her position.”
He referred further questions on Maxymowich’s status to party president Ryan Matthews.
Matthews said Wednesday he does not know whether Maxymowich has officially sought a leave of absence from the party’s board.
“It’s the expectation of all of our board members that if they’re going to seek public office that they’re going to take a leave,” Matthews said.
He said party board members are expected to be neutral. The rule about leaves of absence applies to those seeking elected office and those who would nominate or support a candidate’s nomination, Matthews said.
» Winnipeg Free Press