Trudeau dismisses allegations of persecution: Pro-life Groups 'Not in Line with Where We Are as a Society'
15 January 2018
"Raw totalitarianism and open persecution" from Justin Trudeau (MARY ALTAFFER / AP)
"You're more than allowed to have whatever beliefs you like" but can't act on those beliefs when it comes to the right of women to "control their own bodies," said Canadian PM.
At the end of 2017, the Canadian government set out criteria requiring that any employers who wish to be supported by the summer job grant scheme – to hire student summer workers – must sign an "attestation" that "both the job and the organization's core mandate respect individual human rights" including the "right" to abortion.
Opposition to this move highlighted its unabashed suppression of human rights, with critics referring to the decision as "raw totalitarianism and open persecution with the sanction of the state", and "a violation of our freedom of conscience and freedom of expression" (Catholic Herald).
A dismissive response
Justin Trudeau has decided to respond to his critics with tokenism: "…so many of the great community organisations that we have working incredibly hard are faith-based across this country, and it's an important and wonderful part of our society," he is reported as saying in the National Post.
However, he persisted in the de facto exclusion of any people or organisations with differing views in a subsequent comment: "an organization that has the explicit purpose of restricting women's rights by removing rights to abortion and the right for women to control their own bodies is not in line with where we are as a government, and quite frankly where we are as a society."
This comes as no surprise from Justin Trudeau, who has previously referred to abortion as included in "fundamental human rights".
I "draw the line" at integrity
In an unprecedented intervention by a Prime Minister on the expression of conscience, Trudeau stated: "We need to know that there is a difference between freedom of expression and acting on those expressions and beliefs… of course, you're more than allowed to have whatever beliefs you like… But when those beliefs lead to actions determined to restrict a woman's right to control her own body, that's where I… draw the line."
De facto exclusion of faith-based groups
Unsurprisingly, the Trudeau Liberals are facing a backlash from faith-based non-profits, charities and institutions that say they can't in conscience sign the attestation, reports LifeSiteNews.
Barry W. Bussey, director of legal services of the Canadian Council of Christian Charities, which has 3,400 members, says "most" of the groups who have contacted him "are saying, no, they're not signing." The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada and Canada's Catholic bishops have similarly protested.
Catholic Civil Rights League president Phil Horgan echoed this in a statement on Thursday: "The Prime Minister's position at 'drawing a line' on pro-life positions is utterly unacceptable, since it violates the very Charter of Rights and Freedoms which is cited by the government as the basis of its policy," he said.
"Any Catholic organisation, which professes fidelity to the teachings of the Church, cannot make this affirmation and is thereby excluded from a program which should be open to all law-abiding organisations. A firm and principled rejection of abortion is inseparable from an adherence to the Catholic faith."
News in brief: