Canadian Liberal party leader orders end to freedom of conscience and expression in party

Sean Murphy*

Justin Trudeau, leader of the Canadian Liberal Party, has declared that a purported “right” to abortion and contraception is more important than freedom of conscience and expression.  He has reaffirmed his intention to enforce his views by suppressing freedom of conscience and expression with respect to abortion among Liberal members of parliament; presumably, this will extend to the rest of the federal Liberal Party as well.  When questioned about the effect of his decision on the ‘Catholic vote,’ he asserted that he, himself, is Catholic, and many Catholics were upset when previous Liberal governments decriminalized homosexual conduct and legalized divorce. [CBC News]  In making the statements, Trudeau was reinforcing a policy announced in May and reiterated in June, when his office confirmed that the policy applies to current MPs as well as all future Liberal candidates. “Mr. Trudeau believes that everyone is welcome to their own personal views,” said his office, but must conform to the party line. [The Guardian]  In response, Prince Edward Island Liberal MP Lawrence MacAulay, who professes to be “pro-life,” issued a statement saying, “Despite my personal beliefs, I understand that I will have to vote the party position.” [Lifesite News]

One thought on “Canadian Liberal party leader orders end to freedom of conscience and expression in party”

  1. As a matter of history and of law, Mr. Trudeau Jr. is mistaken in asserting that the 1988 Supreme Court of Canada decision in R. v. Morgentaler established a “right” to abortion, except in the sense that there has since been no law in Canada against the procedure or otherwise restricting it. His assertion, by way of justification for his policy, that his party is known for its advocacy of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, suggests an exceptionally superficial understanding of the document. The Charter explicitly acknowledges freedom of conscience,religion and expression as fundamental freedoms, and he has not explained why freedoms explicitly guaranteed should be suppressed in favour of other rights that be believes are more important. If Justin Trudeau is willing to suppress freedom of conscience and expression within his own party, it is likely that, as Prime Minister, he would support the suppression of freedom of conscience and religion among health care workers.

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