Nanaimo-Alberni MP James Lunney has quit the Conservative Party of Canada and has asked to sit as an independent MP.
Lunney has come under fire in recent weeks for his stance on evolution, and for coming to the defence of an Ontario Progressive Conservative member who stated publicly that he does not believe in evolution. Lunney defended his religious beliefs in a statement released to media today (March 31), stating that he believes Christian world-views are being stifled politically as well as professionally.
He lashed out at his critics and at the media, who he claims created a “firestorm of criticism and condemnation.
“In a society normally proud of embracing difference, the role of the media and partisan politics in inciting social bigotry and intolerance shold be questioned. Such ignorance and bigotry cloaked in defence of science is as repugnant as bigotry of any other origin.”
A staff member in Lunney’s Ottawa office said he was unavailable for comment today.
“I am withdrawing from the CPC caucus voluntarily; the decision is entirely my own,” Lunney stated in a release sent to Canadian media. “Given the circling trolls, I do not intend to entangle the most multi-racial, multicultural and multi-faith caucus in parliamentary history in my decision to defend my beliefs.”
Although Lunney will sit as an independent MP, he said “I have no intentions of betraying my promise to my constituents and will continue to vote alongside my colleagues in the Conservative caucus.”
Lunney announced midway through his recent term that he does not intend to run for election again in 2015.