Kelowna Political Story of the Year: Controversy lingered Conservative MP Tracy Gray, but it wasn’t enough to deter voters – Kelowna News
Castanet revisits the main stories of a turbulent year 2021. Today, for our political story of the year in Kelowna, we take a look at MP Tracy Gray’s multiple controversies.
Tracy Gray was no stranger to controversy in 2021.
The Conservative MP for Kelowna-Lake Country drew ire from the LGBTQ community when she joined several other Conservative MPs in voting against Bill C-6, which would have amended the Criminal Code to make the illegal conversion therapy in Canada.
Widely condemned as an abuse, conversion therapy is a process of trying to change a person’s sexual orientation to heterosexual through a variety of practices such as talk therapy, hypnosis, and electric shocks. .
Gray voted in favor of the bill on first reading but not final passage, arguing that the bill “needed improvements in its wording, including the definition and the right of parents and counselors to have chat”.
She said she has always supported the LGBTQ community.
A coalition of Kelowna-Lake Country 2S-LGBTQIA+ citizens and allies demanded an apology, saying that while “support for rainbow crosswalks is a welcome gesture, such performative acts ring hollow when a real issue causing explicit and significant harm to our community is unable to obtain similar support from you,” they said in a letter.
“We hope you will see fit to do the right thing.”
Some who participated in a virtual town hall called on Gray to step down as an MP.
Gray later learned that she was not welcome at any Kelowna Pride events, a decision she criticized as “partisan politics”.
A new version of the bill was passed unanimously in the House of Commons last month and has officially passed.
Surprisingly, the issue was not front and center when a federal election was called a few weeks later.
Instead, Gray found herself in the middle of a new controversy over whether or not she had been vaccinated.
His liberal opponent, Tim Krupa, made his refusal to declare his vaccination status an election issue.
Gray declined multiple questions regarding her status, repeatedly saying she followed the best medical health advice from day one of the pandemic and continues to “strictly adhere to all public health guidelines.”
The day after her questioning by Castanet News, she reluctantly revealed that she had been fully vaccinated, although she continued to believe that personal health information should be a private matter.
Despite the controversies, Gray easily won re-election, winning more than 45% of the votes cast, compared to nearly 27% for Krupa.