OTTAWA, November 2, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Premier Dalton McGuinty was asked today about an Ottawa-area Catholic school’s decision to cancel a trip to support the re-election of President Obama this week and learn about the U.S. political system.

Fifty-two students from St. Peter’s and St. Matthew’s Catholic high schools were slated to make the trip to Boardman, Ohio, on Saturday.

The trip was abruptly cancelled after LifeSiteNews.com broke the story about the trip, quoting a mother who expressed concern about President Obama’s extreme pro-abortion record.

The Ontario Premier responded that he leaves decisions about what kinds of trips students will make up to the schools and school boards.

However, he added: “I can tell you that as a Catholic, I’m pro-choice.” He also said that if he lived in the U.S. he would be voting for Obama.

The remark earned a stinging rebuke from Jim Hughes, the president of Campaign Life Coalition, Canada’s leading pro-life organization.

“The fact that he says he’s a Catholic is a joke,” said Hughes, who expressed disappointment that McGuinty has abandoned his father’s pro-life views.

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The cancellation of the trip has hit mainstream media outlets across the country, with many taking at face value the school board’s claim that the trip was simply to “observe” the U.S. election. 

However, the CBC has reported that students were scheduled to telephone Obama supporters to remind them to get out and vote for the U.S. President. The teacher who organized the trip lists “volunteer” with “Obama for America” on his LinkedIn profile for 2012. In a Facebook post about the trip he wrote: “Let’s help the president bring it home!”

St. Peter’s principal Norma McDonald has said that her decision to cancel the trip was not based upon concerns about its partisan focus, but rather the negativity of the controversy.

“Certainly criticism and negativity is not something that you want to expose your staff and students to, and at that point I did make a decision — certainly in consultation with my teacher — that we would in fact cancel the trip,” she told the CBC.

Hughes said it is “absolutely appalling” that the teacher and students were prepared to “go support the most pro-abortion, anti-life president in the history of the United States.”

“It just blows my mind,” Hughes said, citing Obama’s repeated opposition to a bill that would have protected babies born alive after failed abortions from being left to die. “And who could be more callous that does that?”