TORONTO, November 30, 2001 ( – Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, the only one of the current 5 candidates for Leader who calls himself “pro-life” was interviewed yesterday by the Toronto Star (all other candidates called themselves “pro-choice” other than Health Minister Tony Clement who rated himself a “6 or 7 out of 10” on the pro-life side of the scale). Pro-life leaders found Flaherty’s comments puzzling.

Asked about abortion in Ontario Flaherty responded, “I would not interfere with the status quo in Ontario.” He said, “Ontario does provides funding of abortion services, some in hospitals and some in clinics, and would continue to do so (if I become premier).” Over 40,000 abortion choices per year are funded by Ontario taxpayers even though most are opposed to such public funding regardless of their abortion opinion.

Asked about the injunction against pro-life activity outside abortion clinics, Flaherty said, according to the Star, that when he was attorney-general, he made no move to lift the ban. “The status quo was working, and the attorney-general has a general responsibility for (maintaining) good public peace and order,” he said.

Even on questions of conscience legislation and informed consent Flaherty, while saying he agreed with such legislation, also indicated that neither is a priority for him. The Star reports “He noted that consent legislation is difficult to draft. And he said that, rather than the province passing a law guaranteeing protection for health-care workers, “It’s something that ought to be litigated (under the Charter of Rights).”

For the Star coverage see: