Although you have been scolded many times in the media and especially by Thomas Cardinal Collins, the Archbishop of Toronto, I feel another scolding is necessary.
You announced that you wish to form a party that is resolutely pro-choice, and that potential Liberal candidates with pro-life opinions on the topic of abortions should not publicly express them if they wish to be in the Liberal party.
This proclamation is ill-conceived at its best and dictatorial at its worst. The former could well be attributed to a lack of maturity on your part. The latter I find to be frightening, as this type of top-down legislation has no part in the government of the country for which my uncles died to protect our freedoms.
Your insistence that women have a constitutional right to abortion is absolutely incorrect. There is no law governing abortion in Canada. In 1988, the Supreme Court of Canada in the R. v. Morgentaler decision struck down the abortion law.
However, all seven judges acknowledged that the state has a legitimate interest in protecting the unborn, and they did not establish a constitutional right to abortion.
The Charter does say, “everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person.” Why the “right to life” does not apply to the unborn baby is beyond me.
Your policy represents an assault on our fundamental freedoms, guaranteed by the Charter, namely, freedom of conscience and religion. Without these freedoms, no other rights can remain secure.
Your blithe announcement that the abortion issue is settled in Canada couldn’t be further from the truth. You had only to look out your window to the grounds of the Parliament buildings on May 8 to observe the some 20,000 Canadians for whom the abortion issue is far from settled.
A quick look at the results of the yearly Environics Poll will tell you that over 66 per cent of Canadians want some restriction on abortion. It is unfathomable to me that our country ranks with only a few others in the world in which there are no abortion restrictions, in which unborn babies can be killed for any or no reason at any time during the entire nine months of pregnancy.
I have always understood that the Liberal Party has been a key democratic institution in which Canadians, with diverse beliefs and opinions have always been able to participate. Obviously under your leadership this is no longer the case