The shocking fact is that in the year 1967 while most Canadians were celebrating our Centennial, Prime Minister Pearson & Justice Minister Trudeau took advantage of the situation and launched a diabolical attack on the Family by bringing in Permissive Laws on Abortion and Divorce. In the same year they also revised the Bank Act which cleared the way for sky high interest rates.

Anyone who assumes that there was a widespread popular clamor for easy divorce and abortion would be quite wrong. There was virtually no Pro Abortion movement in Canada until some time after the Law was passed in 1969. As far as Prime Minister Pearson was concerned he mainly wanted to accommodate a small group of doctors in Toronto including his son-in-law who were already doing illegal abortions. Later Attorney General Wishart said he would not prosecute them. Thus began the selective enforcement of the law in this Province. However, it is true that prior to 1967 a secret group of lawyers and doctors had worked their way into key positions in the CBA and the CMA and so were ready to present briefs which made it appear that Canadian doctors and lawyers favoured permissive laws on Abortion and Divorce. A special study should be done to find out where these doctors and lawyers so far removed from Canadian traditions emerged from. We know that many of them, like Dr. Morgentaler, come from abroad.

Homosexuality, abortion, divorce

As far as Trudeau was concerned he was simply following the guidelines laid down by the Bilderberg Group and the Rockefellers to bring Canada in line with plans to radically change our views on Homosexuality, Abortion and Divorce. It was part of the plan to control population and had nothing to do with accommodating women. In fact, it was a deliberate campaign to impose Abortion and Divorce on Canadian women whether they wanted it or not.

And so, in the Summer of 1967 Prime Minister Pearson set up a Committee in the Department of Health and Welfare to “study” the question of abortion. This was a clear sign from the beginning that abortion was to be treated as a “Health” issue and not a “Justice” issue. At the same time, Justice Minister Trudeau started preparing his Omnibus Bill covering changes in the Criminal Code including abortion, lotteries and homosexuality and even gun control! Trudeau knew he could never change our abortion law if it were a separate Bill with a free vote. Dr. Harry Harley of Oakville, Ontario was chairman of the Committee and it included Liberal MP Ralph Cowan from Toronto. Some of us began writing letters to the paper in opposition. In September 1967 we gathered together in a Church basement in Toronto where I believe the first Pro Life Group was formed. I was elected a Vice-President of the Emergency Organization for the Defence of the Unborn. It included John Hackett who quit the NDP Party over the issue and the Editor of a Suburban Paper who was an atheist. Both these men would go to Ottawa at their own expense and present Pro Life Briefs to Dr. Harley’s Committee.

In the late Fall of 1967 while Dr. Harley’s Committee had still to hear from important groups including the Catholic Bishops, Trudeau announced that he was going to go ahead and introduce his Bill before the Hearings were finished. He thus showed clearly from the start that he did not care what the Canadian People thought – he was going to impose abortion on Canadian Women anyway. At the next party Caucus meeting, Dr. Harley denounced Trudeau for his plans and said he was going to wreck the Liberal party. It was Ralph Cowan who told us about this. In fact, Trudeau backed down for the moment and after Christmas the Catholic Bishops were heard and also Dr. DeVeber. It was Dr. DeVeber’s slides which really shook up the whole Committee. Prior to this they were prepared to allow abortion where the life or health of the mother was endangered, but before Easter they passed an amendment to make it read “serious health”. They then adjourned to make way for the leadership convention which saw Trudeau elected Leader with the secret backing of Pearson. Pearson knew that Trudeau was the only candidate who could be counted on to push ahead with the Abortion Bill. This led to a Federal Election which saw the Liberals returned with a Majority. But Dr. Harley, a former power in the Liberal Party, decided not to run again under Trudeau and Ralph Cowan was expelled from the Party before the Election. Few Pro Lifers today know that Ralph Cowan sacrificed his political career because of his strong views on abortion. John Hackett and I had formed a Magna Carta committee to stop Trudeau and Ralph Cowan spoke at our first meeting. Trudeau made John Turner Justice Minister on condition he would put the Omnibus Bill through without amendments. In the fall, when Parliament resumed, the Abortion Committee was not reconvened and the Omnibus Bill was introduced with the words “life or health” of the mother in regard to Abortion. I at once wrote to Turner and asked why the Committee was not reconvened and why he ignored their call for the term “serious health”. He replied that his Bill was in accord with the recommendation of the Committee. I sent his reply to Dr. Harley and Dr. Harley soon forced Turner to admit that his Bill was not in accord with the Committee. It was clear there was not going to be a free vote in the Liberal Caucus and only “experts” were heard by the House Committee which examined the Bill.

No briefs heard

Our only hope was to present briefs to the Senate, where we were told it was traditional for all briefs to be heard. Originally the Bill was to go to Senator Hayden’s Committee but at the last minute Trudeau resurrected the long dormant Justice Committee chaired by the 92 year old Senator Arthur Roebuck. And so we all sent briefs to his Committee. Trudeau could not find a leading Liberal Senator to introduce the obnoxious Bill to the Senate so he finally turned to Senator Lazarus Phillips of Montreal. Senator Phillips told the Senators that there was no need to have a long debate on the Bill in the Senate because it was going to be thoroughly examined “in Committee”. In fact, it went to Committee on a Friday afternoon late in June and was rammed through the Committee in 2 hours with no briefs heard! You can imagine the consternation of Senators opposed to the Bill when they returned to Ottawa on the Monday and learned what had happened. Such a thing had never happened in the Senate before or since. It raises the question of whether the Bill was validly passed by the Senate or not. But no one has challenged the legality of the Bill.

There remained the question of what happened to our briefs. We wrote to Senator Roebuck and he replied that he did not have our briefs on that Friday afternoon. I wrote to Senator Paul Martin, one of those who voted this Bill through Committee in 2 hours and also Liberal Senate Leader and demanded an inquiry as to what had happened to our briefs. He supposedly did carry out an inquiry and told me nothing untoward had occurred but Conservative Senator Flynn and others wrote me and told me that something very improper had occurred. The briefs mailed in good time, were supposed to go from the Secretary of the Senate to Senator Roebuck. In fact, the Secretary wrote me and told me he never saw the briefs! Someone intercepted them no doubt on Trudeau’s orders and they suddenly appeared on Senator Roebuck’s desk on the Monday after that fateful Friday afternoon. And so the infamous Omnibus Bill was forced through the House and Senate in a completely undemocratic manner. The Ottawa papers carried a bit about the scandal in the Senate due to the efforts of Philip Cooper but the story of the Passage of the Omnibus Bill was soon shrouded in legends and myths. Recently Michael Valpy in the Globe & Mail referred to the passage of the Bill and he speaks as though the MPs acted from lofty motives to arrive at a workable compromise, etc. He even assumes there was a free vote. Will Canadians ever learn the truth?

Early in 1968 our Emergency Committee presented the Government with 350,000 names of Canadians opposed to the Bill. It received little publicity and later after the Bill passed Trudeau would tell the Toronto Star that he only received a few thousand letters opposed to the Bill mostly from Quebec! Why have these facts been suppressed for so long?