Manitoba Caves In, Day Criticizes Gov’t “Stormtrooping” Tactics

WINNIPEG, Jan 8, 2001 ( – As the federal Liberal Government continues to threaten to take action over New Brunswick’s refusal to pay for abortions at private clinics, the Manitoba government has caved in to pressure and agreed to use tax dollars for abortions at Henry Morgentaler’s abortuary in the province. Manitoba deputy health minister Ron Hikel told the Winnipeg Press the “The province is in the process of developing a policy and a procedure that will create a new category of not-for-profit clinics that will be basically operating as public sector facilities . . . Assuming that this is arranged, it will start paying both the physicians’ and the so-called tray fee at the Morgentaler clinic.”

Prime Minister Chretien appears to be following through on his more open pro-abortion militancy that sprouted just before the federal election. Mary Ellen Douglas, National Organizer for Campaign Life Coalition (CLC) slammed the government’s hypocrisy Friday for its insistence that Nova Scotia fund the private abortuary of Morgentaler while having campaigned against two-tier medicine. “Mr. Rock is pressuring Alberta to shut down private MRI clinics, while trying to force New Brunswick to support private abortion clinics,” said Douglas. To be consistent, she said, “New Brunswick should be refused transfer payments if Henry Morgentaler’s private clinic in Fredericton is not closed.”

CLC’s position is that the Canada Health Act cannot be used to pressure provinces to fund abortions, wherever they are carried out, because the Act requires only that medically necessary services be publicly funded and, today, abortion is never medically necessary. Provinces have the right under the Canada Health Care Act to define which services are medically necessary and subject to tax dollar funding. The federal government is consistently ignoring provincial rights on this and blackmailing provinces that do not accept its view that the abortion “choice” is medically necessary by threatening to withhold substantial health care funding.

Canadian Alliance leader Stockwell Day also criticized the federal government’s heavy-handedness on the issue. “I think it’s fascinating that once again we see the health minister operating not from a point of view of a co-operative approach, but talking about stormtrooping in there, carrying the big hammer,” Day told the Canadian Press from Vancouver. “Where is co-operative federalism? Again it points to the alienation people feel from the political process. . . I understand that for some 14 years now in New Brunswick it has been the policy that this procedure be funded in hospitals and not in clinics.” He concluded, “They have concerns about clinics and that is their policy.”

See the Canadian Press coverage at:

(with files from Pro-Life E-News)


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