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Christian Heritage Party of Canada


Christian Heritage Party of Canada

Christian Heritage Party of Canada
Parti de l'héritage chrétien du Canada
Leader Rod Taylor (2014– )
President Dave Bylsma
Founded November 1987 (1987-11)
Headquarters Ottawa, Ontario
Ideology Social conservatism (Canadian),
Cultural conservatism,
Christian right
Political position Right-wing
Colours Pantone 216C
Seats in the House of Commons
0 / 308
Seats in the Senate
0 / 105
Politics of Canada
Political parties

The Christian Heritage Party of Canada, also referred to as CHP Canada,[1] is a federal political party that advocates that Canada be governed according to Biblical principles. It believes "the purpose of civil government is to ensure security, freedom, and justice for all its citizens from conception till natural death, by upholding just laws".[2]

This socially and fiscally conservative party held its founding convention in Hamilton, Ontario in November 1987, where Ed Vanwoudenberg was elected its first leader. Jim Hnatiuk led the party from 2008 to early 2014, and Rod Taylor is the leader as of 7 November 2014.[3]

The party nominated candidates for the first time in the 1988 federal election, and ran numerous candidates in the 1993 and 1997 elections. It was unable to field 50 candidates in the 2000 election and was consequently de-registered by Elections Canada, the government elections agency. The party was re-registered in time for the 2004 election.

Many of its founders had been members of the Social Credit movement. The party hopes to "apply proven Judeo-Christian principles of justice and compassion to Canada's contemporary public policy needs".[4] The party claims that it seeks to represent all Canadians, and specifically denies any interest in converting all Canadians to Christianity. As of the 2011 election, the party has yet to obtain a seat in the House of Commons.


The Christian Heritage Party seeks to avoid a narrow platform, but rather implements the policy that "civil government is to ensure freedom and justice for a nation's citizens by upholding law and order in accordance with Biblical principles."

Some of the key goals and principles of the CHP are:

  • Have the Bank of Canada, rather than Canadian citizens, pay to overhaul the economy and the infrastructure of Canada
  • Eliminate income tax, and replace it with a "fair tax"[5]
  • Treat the national debt "like a mortgage"[6]
  • Having non-violent criminals pay restitution out of jail, and having dangerous offenders remain in prison until their behaviour indicates that they are no longer dangerous to society
  • Definition of marriage as between one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others
  • Protection of free speech
  • Legislation for property rights
  • Reduce waiting times for hospitals by putting cosmetic surgeries at the back of the line
  • Defund abortion and make it illegal, push for adoption as a substitute
  • Promoting domestic population growth, rather than immigration
  • Reinstating capital punishment[7] in Canada
  • Resisting the implementation of Sharia law within Canada

Electoral activity

Election # of candidates # of votes % of popular vote % of popular vote CHP ridings
1988 63 102,533 0.78% 3.56%
1993 58 30,455 0.22% 1.09%
1997 53 29,085 0.22% 1.26%
2000 46* 10,110* 0.08%* 0.51%*
2004 62 40,283 0.30% 1.52%
2006 45 28,163 0.19% 1.32%
2008 59 26,751 0.19% 1.02%
2011 46 19,218 0.13% 0.84%

*The party did not have official status for the 2000 election, but 46 candidates were nominated, listed on the ballot without any affiliation information. These figures represent the 46 "non-affiliated" candidates known to be nominees of the CHP.

National leader

National executive

The national executive was selected at the party's triennial national convention held in March 2012.[8]

  • President - Dave Bylsma
  • Vice President - Peter Vogel (acting under title of Vice-Chair)
  • National Secretary - Martha Sjaarda
  • National Treasurer - Ron Benell
  • Executive Director - Vicki Gunn
  • Prayer, Ethics, Personnel Director - David J. Reimer

Provincial presidents

  • British Columbia, vacant
  • Alberta, Geoffrey Capp (interim)
  • Saskatchewan, vacant
  • Manitoba, Alex Siepman
  • Ontario, Jim Enos
  • Québec, vacant
  • Nova Scotia, vacant
  • Prince Edward Island, vacant
  • New Brunswick, vacant
  • Newfoundland and Labrador, vacant
  • Yukon, vacant (is eligible to have an acting representative to BC council)
  • Northwest Territories, vacant (potential representative within Alberta council)
  • Nunavut, vacant (potential representative to an undetermined council)

Party leaders

Edward John Vanwoudenberg (November 1987-1991)

Vanwoudenberg was head of the CHP from the party's founding convention in 1987[9] until 1991. From 1991 to 1994, he served as the Executive Director, and from 1994 to 1998, he served as the party's vice-president. A resident of Hope, British Columbia, he ran in the Canadian federal elections of 1988, 1993 and 2000.

Charles Cavilla (1991-1993)

Cavilla, of Lethbridge, Alberta, was leader of the CHP[10] from the convention at Ottawa in October 1991 until March 1993. A difference of vision on leadership between Cavilla and the party board resulted in the transfer of leadership on an interim basis to Heather Stilwell. Charles is married to Eileen. He has eight children, and fifteen grandchildren.

Heather Stilwell (1993-1994) (interim)

Jean Blaquière (1994-1995)

Blaquière, a Pentecostal pastor, was a candidate for the CHP in the Canadian federal election of 1993, and won the party leadership[11] in March 1994 at a Vancouver convention, in a race with two other contenders. Blaquière stepped down at the next convention in November 1995 in London, Ontario

Ronald "Ron" O. Gray (1995-2008)

Gray was the leader of the CHP from 1995 to 2008. Born and educated in British Columbia, Gray has worked in journalism, public relations, and the federal public service. He began his career at The Vancouver Sun newspaper, and has also worked at community newspapers in BC and in Suva, Fiji; and the BC Report magazine. He was a public information officer for a major public utility in BC, and for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

He was a Trade and Commerce Officer attached to the Canadian Consulate in Cleveland, Ohio. He later managed store-front Federal government public information services in Winnipeg and Vancouver. He became Public Information Officer for one of BC's first community colleges, and later served 10 years in a similar capacity at Trinity Western University, an evangelical university. He and his wife, Janet, have raised nine children, including adopted, step- and foster-children, and have 15 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

In the 1988 federal election, Gray ran in his first election under the Christian Heritage Party banner in the electoral district of Fraser Valley East. On election night, he placed fourth out of six candidates with over eight percent of the popular vote, finishing well behind Progressive Conservative incumbent Ross Belsher.[12]

Gray has since run for the CHP in every general election, with the exception of 1993. He has also contested four byelections, including one in Calgary Southwest against Canadian Alliance leader Stephen Harper, who later was elected to serve as prime minister of Canada. In a 1999 byelection, he finished one vote ahead of the Reform Party candidate in the Quebec riding of Hull—Aylmer.

Gray became the party leader in 1995. His leadership was confirmed at three subsequent CHP conventions. He stepped down in November 2008. Near the end of 2006, a human rights complaint was filed against Ron Gray alleging communication via the Internet, messages likely to expose homosexuals to hatred or contempt. BY October 24, 2008, the complaint had been dropped and the file closed by the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

Jim Hnatiuk (2008-2014)

Hnatiuk was elected leader of the CHP in November 2008. As a youth, he attended a boarding school run by Oblate priests. He joined the Canadian Forces and served with them for 25 years in the Combat Systems Engineering Department in the Canadian Forces attaining the rank of Chief Petty Officer 1st Class.[13] He has been involved with various churches and is a deacon at Emmanuel Baptist Church.[13]

Hnatiuk joined the Christian Heritage Party in 2002[14] and has run as a candidate for the party in Nova Scotia in the 2004, 2006 and 2008 federal elections.

He became deputy leader of the party in 2005 and was elected leader at the party's November 2008 convention in London, Ontario defeating Harold Ludwig and Rod Taylor on the first ballot of the party's leadership convention.[14]

Due to a difference in understanding on the leader's mandate to innovate in membership qualifications, and a motion by the national board to ask that the leader put promotion of his vision on hold until a full board meeting could discuss the vision, Hnatiuk submitted his resignation as leader effective 1 February 2014, though choosing to continue as a party member.

Hnatiuk was a candidate in the November 9 by-election in the riding of Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, to replace independent Member of Parliament Bill Casey. He came in fifth, losing to Scott Armstrong of the Conservative Party of Canada.

In his professional life, he operates the largest hunting, fishing and taxidermy business in Nova Scotia.[14]

David J. Reimer (2014-Present) (interim)

David J. Reimer has served the party as candidate in elections since 1988, and served as the party's Prayer, Ethics and Personnel (PEP) Director. Until early 2014, Reimer served as interim provincial president for Manitoba, and was appointed as interim national leader to succeed Hnatiuk until the fall 2014 national convention.

Rod Taylor (2014-present)

Rod Taylor has served the party as development director and as president of the B.C. council, was a candidate for the leadership in 2008, and stood as the sole candidate at the 2014 convention at which he received substantial approval of delegates.

Provincial branches

Christian Heritage Party of British Columbia

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Christian Heritage Party of Canada Guiding Principles". January 18, 2013. Retrieved March 14, 2013. 
  3. ^ Paul Freston. Protestant political parties: a global survey (2004) p 56
  4. ^ "About the CHP". January 18, 2013. Retrieved March 14, 2013. 
  5. ^ The CHP’s Better Solution (January 18, 2013). "Taxation". Retrieved March 6, 2014. 
  6. ^ The CHP’s Better Solution (January 18, 2013). "Debt, Deficit, and Stimulus". Retrieved March 6, 2014. 
  7. ^ Murder Rate, 1955-1985 (January 18, 2013). "Capital Punishment". Retrieved March 14, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Christian Heritage Party holds convention in Abbotsford". The Northern View ( 
  9. ^ "Decision Canada '08".  
  10. ^ Honywill, Brad (Sep 10, 1993). "'"Christian Heritage Party faces political oblivion They're not 'even a fringe party anymore.  
  11. ^ "Heritage party elects new head". Hamilton Spectator. Mar 14, 1994. p. B6. Retrieved April 6, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Fraser Valley East 1988 Federal Election". Parliament of Canada. Retrieved October 5, 2008. 
  13. ^ a b "Leadership". January 18, 2013. Retrieved March 14, 2013. 
  14. ^ a b c "Jim Hnatiuk Elected New CHP Leader". November 10, 2008. Retrieved March 14, 2013. 


  • Robert K. Burkinshaw. Pilgrims in Lotus Land: Conservative Protestantism in British Columbia 1917-1981 (Mcgill-Queen's Studies in the History of Religion, 1995)
  • Paul Freston. Protestant political parties: a global survey (2004)

External links

  • Official website
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