By Jonathon Van Maren
Canada’s state broadcaster, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, is known for being overtly left-wing. I’ve often had to cringe or glare at my radio while weaving through traffic, as some smarmy interviewer condescendingly demanded of some interviewee an explanation for some ideological heresy. During the debate on assisted suicide, it was accepted as both an inevitability and a good thing—and the CBC even published some helpful little calculations on how much the government would save when some of the older and sicklier Canadians were getting knocked off by lethal injections before they could cost the healthcare system a ton of money.
And that is why I was stunned to see a column published today over at the CBC not only condemning Justin Trudeau’s new ideological purity test for the Canada Summer Jobs Program, but noting a fact that is almost universally ignored by Canada’s political, academic, and media elites: There actually is no Charter right to abortion, and Parliament has every right to pass restrictions on the procedure:
Hajdu’s nod to “hard-won rights” is a reference to the Supreme Court’s landmark 1988 Morgentaler decision. But that decision didn’t recognize a constitutional right to abortion under the Charter. While it did nullify Canada’s existing abortion law, the Court left it to Parliament to come up with new legislation that would balance the rights of women with the state’s interest in the protection of the fetus, within the bounds of the charter.
Indeed, commenting at the time of the decision, law professor Daphne Gilbert wrote, “The Morgentaler decision didn’t say a woman has a constitutional right to abortion, it didn’t go that far.”
Canada is the only Western nation without any law regulating abortion. Successive governments have avoided crafting such legislation for fear of dividing the country, but the Liberals have discovered an easier solution: simply make people believe that a law already exists. (One, incidentally, that just happens to match Liberal ideology exactly).
Conservative Christians and those of other faiths supporting pro-life positions should not be subjected to an ideological purity test to qualify for federal funding. The beliefs they hold about abortion are completely within the bounds of the law and can be voiced upon and advocated for freely and publicly. Even organizations that are solely dedicated to opposing abortion contravene no law.
Their only “crime” is that their values don’t align with those of our prime minister. It’s ironic that Trudeau insists Canadians support “diversity and inclusion,” when he himself does not.
Clearly, the Liberals are letting a particular worldview, and not the law, influence their actions. The danger here is that if a government can pretend a law into existence, it can pretend others out of existence.
We’ve seen this before. Hail to the emperor.
I’ve never read such an accurate and devastating critique of Justin Trudeau—and defence of religious Canadians—on the CBC, and kudos to them from publishing it. It has been encouraging to note that the media has been on this story consistently, and that very few of them seem enthusiastic about the Liberal move. Over at the National Post, Father Raymond de Souza noted that forcing people to accept your ideology or be penalized was totalitarian. In what the Winnipeg Free Press called an unprecedented development in bilateral relations, conservative media from FOX News to Ben Shapiro were harsh in their criticisms of Trudeau’s homogenous diversity. And aside from a few ecstatic abortion activists jumping up and down in glee on their blogs, the reaction seems almost universally negative.
Trudeau won’t back down, of course. In fact, his government has added the requirement of abortion support to their newly revamped youth service program, as well. But as I noted earlier, religious Canadians of all stripes are beginning to realize that Trudeau’s intention is to render those who do not agree with him second-class citizens—at least, as far as access to government programs originally intended for all Canadians are concerned.
For anyone interested, my book on The Culture War, which analyzes the journey our culture has taken from the way it was to the way it is and examines the Sexual Revolution, hook-up culture, the rise of the porn plague, abortion, commodity culture, euthanasia, and the gay rights movement, is available for sale here.