OTTAWA, Ontario, February 2, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Conservative leadership candidate Brad Trost is promising to introduce a Parental Bill of Rights in Parliament that would protect children from being subjected to the social values of leftist provincial and federal governments.
Trost said there are several pieces of provincial and federal legislation that threatened parental rights. He is one of just two candidates among 14 vying for the Conservative Party of Canada’s leadership identified by the Campaign Life Coalition as pro-life.
Trost cited Ontario’s Bill 28 that replaced “mother” and “father” with “parent” when registering births. He also mentioned the proposed Bill 89, which “will redefine the best interests of the child in Ontario family law to include ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’ as factors to be considered in custody cases.
“This will make it much easier to remove children of devout parents from their homes,” he warned, especially if they reject the theories behind the concepts.
Trost also chastised the Alberta New Democratic government for forcing all schools, including Christian schools, to promote homosexuality and transgenderism. All schools must provide gay-straight alliance clubs no matter what their own moral teachings are on homosexuality.
He also warned that the Trudeau government is considering a bill banning corporal punishment.
Could federal legislation impinge on provincial school laws and regulations without violating the Constitution? Trost says it could.
“Education under the Canadian system is the purview of the province and the protection of civil liberties is the purview of the federal government, “he said. “So the federal government can put together legislation that protects Canadian civil liberties and civil rights and not a municipal government, not a provincial government can take away [those] rights.”
Trost said the Charter of Rights and Freedoms should protect parents, but it has not been interpreted that way, making the Parental Bill of Rights necessary.
Trost said one of the most important parental rights in need of protection is the right of parents to raise their children in their own faith.
“Let’s face it. In many, many cases the legislation being put forward by provincial governments is violating the parents’ religious rights,” he said.
Trost isn’t sure whether the Bill of Rights would specifically protect corporal punishment. He said the Criminal Code already made it a crime to use excessive force. Below that threshold, however, governments should not interfere.
“It isn’t for me to tell you how to best discipline your children. It’s for you to decide how best to do it,” Trost said. “We all understand that children aren’t easy to reason with at a certain age. We need to use concrete tools including corporal punishment. And for things like that the Nanny State should not be telling you how to raise your children.”
Trost said parents have done a good job raising their children “for many millennia.” But “the government has not done a very good job.” He cited the federal government’s residential school program for First Nations children as a “horrific” example of what happens when government takes over parenting.
Trost said he believes “the purpose of rights is to prevent the government from intruding into the lives of Canadians. Unfortunately, what provincial governments’ [view of rights] and often the Charter is being used for is [for] minority groups and activists to impose their values on people.”
Jack Fonseca of the Campaign Life Coalition told LifeSiteNews that based on their robust social conservative platforms there were only two supportable pro-life candidates running, Trost and Pierre Lemieux.
“We don’t have a preference between the two, and because the leader will be chosen by preferential ballot, we urge pro-life voters as well as other social conservatives to put one of the two down as their first choice and the other as their second,” Fonseca said.
The election process set up by the Conservative Party will award the leadership to the first candidate to get 50 percent of the votes cast plus one vote (after they are weighted to give all ridings equal impact).
If that doesn’t happen on the first count, when only first preferences are considered, the candidate with least votes will be knocked off and the second choices of those who supported him will be counted. If that candidate is knocked off, their third preferences will be counted.
“The preferential ballot is not a problem,” Fonseca said. “In fact, it’s actually a terrific opportunity for social conservatives to push both the pro-life candidates forward.”
Trost’s campaign manager, Brian Patton, added, “That’s why social conservatives should mark all their preferences and not just stop after Lemieux and Trost.”
But Fonseca warned that many candidates billing themselves as fiscal conservatives or as “Red Tories” (liberal on social issues)“simply cannot be trusted. The fact is that if a candidate’s beliefs aren’t based on core conservative values like respect for life, traditional family and marriage, you can’t trust them to keep their word on anything.”
Fonseca also warned social conservatives to be wary of candidate Kellie Leitch’s “Canadian values” campaign. “She is setting a trap for social conservatives. The people she wants to filter out of the immigration process based on her so-called Canadian values will be social conservatives who believe in the family and traditional marriage.”
Fonseca urged all social conservatives to join the Conservative Party and participate in the leadership vote on May 27.