Trudeau Sr promised to use notwithstanding clause to keep abortion from being a Charter “right”

Most illuminating blog post from my friend Sun Media TV anchor Brian Lilley: (an excerpt, which I am not indenting because I will lose the formatting of the original post)

So Trudeau reached once again into his bag of tricks and pulled out his late father. Here is part of a message that went out to Liberal supporters this weekend.

I had an extraordinary example in a father who had deeply, deeply held personal views that were informed by the fact that he went to church every Sunday, read the Bible regularly to us, and raised us very religiously, as Catholics.

But at the same time my father had no problem legalizing divorce, decriminalizing homosexuality and moving in ways that recognized the basic rights of the people.

He too held fast to his beliefs. But he also understood that as leaders, as political figures, and as representatives of a larger community, our utmost responsibility is to stand up for people’s rights.

There is some truth in that and a good dose of revisionist history. Trudeau Sr. also had to deal with this issue and with questions from the Roman Catholic Cardinal in Toronto. He wrote to Cardinal Carter in 1981, as documented in an Ottawa Citizen article dated April 15, 1989 and penned by Marjorie Nichols.

In a letter dated Dec.  21, 1981 to G. Emmett Cardinal Carter, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Toronto, Trudeau said that the government of Canada would never allow the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to dictateabortion policy. The cardinal had been lobbying for a right-to-life amendment to the Charter.
Here are the salient parts of that Trudeau letter:
“… Since the November 2, 1981 Conference of First Ministers, Parliament’s authority has been strengthened by the addition of the notwithstanding clause to the Charter.
Should a court decide at some future date that sections 7 or 15 do establish a right to abortion on demand, Parliament will continue to legislate on the matter by overriding the court’s decision and the specific Charter right as interpreted by the court.

So Trudeau Sr. stated in plain language that he supported using the not-withstanding clause to block abortion. Maybe he changed his mind on the issue after the Morgentaler ruling but here is Justin’s father ruling himself out of membership in today’s Liberal party.


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