Alberta's rage has rendered Jason Kenney near-bulletproof - 2019-04-12
On November 10, 2013, Mark Smith took to the lectern at the Calvary Baptist Church in Drayton Valley, about 130 kilometres southwest of Edmonton. Speaking in a plaintive, slightly reedy voice, Smith denounced unnamed "TV programs trying to tell you that homosexuality and homosexual love is good love," before casually suggesting such love is akin to the affection a pedophiliac has for his victim. Smith, a church elder at the time, also said some women abort their children out a similarly misguided sense of the word.
Last week, when Smith's words became known to the greater public, Calvary Baptist went into crisis mode. Smith's sermons were flushed from the church's website, while reporter calls to the church ended quickly. "I'm sorry, but we've been getting a lot of calls about this," pleaded Calvary Baptist pastor Kenton Penner. "You keep asking questions so I'm going to hang up now."
Notably unscathed, though, is Mark Smith himself. A United Conservative Party candidate in the upcoming Alberta election on April 16, Smith has represented the riding of Drayton Valley-Devon since 2015, when he was elected as a member of the Wildrose Party. The unearthing of his 2013 sermon, by Edmonton radio program Gaywire, has seemingly done nothing to dampen his fortunes.