‘Almost certainly illegal’: Conrad Black blasts Trudeau’s summer job pro-abortion pledge
TORONTO, July 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Conrad Black, one of Canada’s most trenchant conservative voices, has blasted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s summer job abortion attestation as verging “on evil” and “almost certainly illegal.”
The former press tycoon, financier, historian, peer of Britain, convicted felon in the US, and Catholic convert also lauded Toronto’s Cardinal Thomas Collins for quietly marshalling protest against the reviled policy.
The cardinal “has not crossed the Rubicon,” he said. “And this is not a country remotely ripe for revolution. But there has been no coherent reply from the federal government.”
The Trudeau Liberals touched off a firestorm earlier this year by requiring that employers attest support for legal abortion and gender expression to qualify for Canada Summer Job grants.
“The policy opposed by Cardinal Collins is outrageous, oppressive, and verges on evil, and is almost certainly illegal,” wrote Black.
(In fact, a coalition of Canadian small businesses announced in June they’re filing a spate of court challenges against the attestation as a violation of the Charter guarantee of free speech.)
The former proprietor of Hollinger Inc., once the world’s third largest English-language press empire, Black gained notoriety in 2007 when a US court convicted him of three counts of fraud, two of which were vacated on appeal.
A Catholic convert and co-owner of the UK-based Catholic Herald magazine, Black said his faith helped him endure the 37 months of a 42-month sentence he served for felony fraud and obstruction of justice, during which time he filed columns in the National Post and other media.
Black, 73, returned to Canada in 2012 to reemerge as a conservative pundit with a trademark pedantic brio.
As such, he excoriated the Liberal summer job attestation in April, and warned in his recent analysis that “a dual offensive is underway, of anti-theism and of political correctness.”
Moreover, “any resistance to anything on religious grounds is silently regarded as superstitious idiocy and denounced as blurring the distinction between church and state, a meaningless and fatuous charge in contemporary Western society,” Black asserted.
“The churches have been battered by secularism, commercialization, infantilistic nihilism, pseudo-scientism, often indifferent leadership, and by the perverted conduct of a significant number, though a small percentage, of the Christian clergy, and the disreputable and often violent antics of Islamists,” wrote Black.
Enter Cardinal Collins, “a very judicious man who never strays out of his proper areas of concern and is far from a controversialist.”
The cardinal’s letter urges Catholics to write their Members of Parliament protesting the attestation.
“Respectful communication regarding this unjust policy is very important,” Collins wrote.
“We should all take note when a government claims to value the contributions of faith communities but requires them to profess a set of values which is against their faith in order to be eligible for government funding,” the cardinal noted.
“The government must abide by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in its treatment of law-abiding individuals and groups.”
The exhortation is repeated on the archdiocesan savesummerjobs.ca, which provides a letter to MPs and notes: “You either agree with the Liberal government’s values or you’re out of luck.”
Collins also issued a plea for donations to bankroll student jobs throughout the archdiocese, which, according to the Catholic Register, is facing a $1.1 million shortfall to fund 150 summer jobs in 27 charities.
The letter cited among these “a summer camp for deaf children, employment for developmentally challenged young people, students working as gardeners for the summer and groups assembled to welcome newcomers to the country.”
Collins penned his missive on behalf of “thousands of groups” and was clear he was “not speaking only of his own denomination, nor of faith-affiliated organizations only, and not for reasons confined to varying opinions about abortion,” noted Black.
Other groups are “in solidarity with him” include the Canadian Council of Christian Charities, the Canadian Council of Imams, the Rabbinical Council of America, and the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, he wrote.
“The authorities could not ask for a more polite reproof, but that does not mean that it does not constitute a serious challenge,” Black observed.
“In this matter, the federal government has the legitimacy of temporary executive office, of being politically correct; the cardinal has the legitimacy of being morally and legally correct,” he wrote.
“It is a quietly announced contest, in all senses, of wrong and right, good and bad.”
Black, who famously renounced his Canadian citizenship in 2001 to receive a British peerage after Prime Minister Jean Chretien lobbied against it, lives in Toronto with his wife, Barbara Amiel.
Reported in 2011 to have a net worth of $80 million, Black has written nine books, including A Matter of Principle, which recounts his trial and blasts the American justice system, and his latest, published in May: Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other.