The Canadian Press — Mar 31 2015
OTTAWA - British Columbia MP James Lunney quit the Conservative caucus Tuesday so that he can more freely defend his religious beliefs.
In a statement, Lunney said he's leaving voluntarily so as not to entangle his Tory colleagues in controversy over his beliefs regarding evolution.
He will sit as an Independent but continue to vote with the ruling Conservatives, he said.
Lunney's decision was sparked by reaction to remarks he made last month, which he says were inflated by the media and became part of a "firestorm of criticism and condemnation" surrounding two Ontario politicians who do not believe in the theory of evolution.
"In a society normally proud of embracing difference, the role of the media and partisan politics in inciting social bigotry and intolerance should be questioned," he said.
Late last month, Lunney defended two Progressive Conservative members of the Ontario legislature, tweeting that he has no problem describing evolution as "scientific theory" but that people should stop calling it fact.