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Canadian Press: Trudeau’s accusations against pro-life groups are ‘baloney’

Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

February 9, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – When Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Government announced that applicants to the Canada Summer Jobs Program would now be forced to sign off on an “abortion attestation” in order to be eligible, it is safe to say that Trudeau considered this a politically 'safe move.'

After all, as Trudeau so often likes to claim, abortion is a Charter "right," and he and the Liberals were simply doing their part to ensure that everyone in the country agreed with him.

Except that, for the first time in years, the media suddenly decided to go public with some facts they’d been sitting on for a long time – like the fact that abortion is not a Charter right, for example.

Further to that, The Canadian Press has become the latest in a string of media outlets to make the point that Trudeau’s assertion that the attestation is necessary to weed out groups that might “violate the Charter” is, in their words, “a lot of baloney.” The article has been picked up by Huggington Post, CTV News, Winnipeg Free Press, and others. 

Writes Andy Blatchford in a February 8 article titled Trudeau's Jab At Anti-Abortion Groups Over Charter Rights Contains 'A Lot Of Baloney':

From a strictly technical perspective, the prime minister's suggestion that these groups violate the charter isn't possible, a couple of experts said when asked about his statement.

"Individuals and organizations cannot violate the charter -- the only entity that can violate the charter is the government," said Emmett Macfarlane, a political science professor at the University of Waterloo.

However, he noted that the government is free to decide which activities and organizations won't receive funding under the summer-jobs program.

"I think they're trying to frame their perfectly justifiable policy decision by using the charter as a shield to defend it," he said. "This directly appeals to their core base."

Macfarlane said Trudeau's statement is misleading because it suggests that organizations expressing their views on abortion are somehow out of line with the charter.

Now there’s one of Canada’s best-kept secrets: the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is intended to protect the people from the government, not to be used by the government as a tool against people or groups that it disagrees with. Another expert quoted by CTV pointed out that there is no legal right to abortion in Canada. 

Queen's University law professor Nicholas Bala said the charter doesn't explicitly guarantee a woman's right to an abortion, even though the courts recognize the security and liberty of women and require they be given substantial access to abortion services.

Bala said the government's policy for the summer-jobs program has been developed in a way that could be tricky for Ottawa to defend in court because of the charter's guarantees for freedom of religion, thought and conscience.

"I think that at least as worded ... there's certainly the likelihood of it running into grave difficulties," he said of the policy.

Trudeau seems to have forgotten the fact that the Charter protects freedom of expression and freedom of conscience.

So to sum up: Even Canada’s generally left-leaning media seems to agree that Trudeau, in his supposed zeal to protect the Charter, has conjured fake Charter rights out of thin air—and violated an entire laundry list of them in the process. 

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