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Candidate Ferguson Attacked — by Allies
September 29, 2007 permalink
Rob Ferguson, running for parliament as the Brantford candidate of the Family Coalition Party, has come under attack from his own party.
This case illustrates the aphorism that politics makes strange bedfellows. In an effort to soften their message to pregnant young women, abortion opponents have shifted from fire and brimstone to offering adoption as a practical alternative. The pro-life movement (Family Coalition Party) has become a political friend of the adoption industry, the one Mr Ferguson is opposing. Protecting families entails something even more important than finding homes for the unborn — keeping children already born with mom and dad. In May we reported on the legal loss of Mr Ferguson's son, and the social worker celebration of the consequent funding bounty.
Family guy?; Party frowns on common-law candidate
Posted By Susan Gamble, Saturday, September 29, 2007
Rob Ferguson isn't a typical Family Coalition Party candidate and he's proud of the fact.
Ferguson is a recovered glue sniffer who has been charged - and acquitted - of assault.
For five years, he has been living common law with his partner, Kalena Mallon, a woman who has had serious mental health issues.
And he has marched and fought against the Children's Aid Society.
But the issues of the past are met with honesty by the pair as they head into the Oct. 10 election.
"The challenges in my life make me a better candidate," Ferguson explains, "just as a recovered addict makes a better counsellor. Everyone has some sort of addiction.
"It's a chapter in my life that's concluded, but it means I can relate to people with problems."
Ferguson said the Family Coalition Party understood the need for flexibility, but provincial party president Lynne Scime had a different opinion when contacted Thursday.
"All of our candidates have to sign a document affirming they are pro-life and pro-family," said Scime. "Living common law is not our definition of pro-family. We're very strict about that."
Scime added that all of the other issues Ferguson has put behind him would be accepted and forgiven by the party.
Ferguson was named in The Expositor when he was charged with assaulting Mallon in 2004. In court the next year, Ferguson was acquitted of the charge.
He and Mallon told The Expositor this week that he had been trying to save Mallon when, in a deep depression, she tried to take her own life. However, it was reported in The Expositor that Mallon and Ferguson had got into a fight when she tried to take away a bag of glue that Ferguson was sniffing.
Ferguson went for counselling for his glue addiction. He has now been clean for three years.
Mallon said she's refocused her depression, despite ongoing serious cardiac health issues, and hasn't suffered a serious episode of despondency for more than a year.
"I'm focused on the election and I love it. It gives me all the hope in the world."
Mallon is acting as Ferguson's campaign manager, manning phones and going with him to debates. The couple have two children who do not live with them.
Ferguson was a member of the NDP party, but broke with that group two years ago, citing infighting.
On the candidates' debate circuit, he has run into some opposition from people who want to air other issues. And he has been slandered on the Internet.
Ferguson and Mallon were the victims of a serious crime earlier this year, the details of which can't be made public, and they have yet to see the perpetrator dealt with in court.
But the challenges of a tough life give him a unique perspective, Ferguson said.
"I'm getting more responses in the campaign because I've 'been there'," he said. "Which of the other candidates can say, 'Yah, I've used the food bank?'"
Ferguson has volunteered for community organizations such as the CNIB and helped out for years on Riverfest. He has repeatedly called for more accountability in the Children's Aid Society and has led marches on their office.
He and Mallon are currently fighting their way through the health system as they try to deal with her supraventricular tachycardia - a rapid heart rate which causes confusion and loss of consciousness.
They plan to marry one day but say they face an impediment to doing that immediately.
The critical thing is that they hold dear the family values of the Family Coalition Party, despite not being married.
Federal tax law considers common-law partners to be married after a year of living together.
The Family Coalition Party does not.
"I'm really disappointed in him," said party president Scime.
"Living common-law is a no-no for us and we will have to deal with him. If he had been honest with us, we wouldn't have accepted him as a candidate, but we would accept him as a member of the party."
There's nothing the party can do about the fact that Ferguson stands as its representative on the ballot in 11 days, she said.
Party leader Guiseppe Gori contacted Ferguson on Friday and elicited a promise that Ferguson and Mallon would get serious about setting a date for their marriage.
"If we had known about this before we probably would have chosen a different candidate," admitted Gori.
"By disqualifying a candidate at this point, it would create problems and not solve anything. I've talked to him about what it means to sign our declaration of agreement with our principles."
Meanwhile, the candidate hopes to make a good showing in the election and to continue to grow the Family Coalition Party locally toward the next election call.
"I haven't been deceitful in any way, shape or form," said Ferguson.
Source: Brantford Expositor
with thanks to a Brantford reader
Addendum: An email from Rob Ferguson suggests another motive for the article, and that his differences with his own party are not as represented in the Expositor.
- Sun, 30 Sep 2007 09:47:19 -0400
- rob ferguson firstname.lastname@example.org
Let me explain a bit better. The reporter that interviewed me was supposed to be preparing a a bio for the election not attacking me. The editor of the Brantford Expositor Mr Judd is a Liberal and a real close golf bud with Brant MPP Dave Levac and CAS Director Andrew Koster. This is just an attempt to throw off my support but it hasn't, after receiving many calls yesterday for voter who were going to vote Liberal now will vote for me. My party's words have been taken way out of context. After speaking to party leader Guiseppe Gori it was realized that being engaged as me and Ms Mallon are does qualify as a typical family through commitment. CAS Brant and Dave Levac are simply afraid that I do have a chance here to continue to fight for family rights.
Source: email from Rob Ferguson