Jean Chretien – Liberal

Mr. Chretien “in his main address to the Liberal Party convention on March 17, told 2,600 delegates that ‘Canadians do not want a right-wing party in this country. They do not want a party that does not support women’s right to choose.'” (LifeSite News, July 11, 2000)

Speaking in Winnipeg, he said, “We Liberals believe in a woman’s right to choose.” (Vancouver Sun, Aug. 31, 2000) “[Stockwell Day] wants a divisive national debate on this issue … that is no way to run this country.” He added “To break the social peace we have had in Canada on this issue ever since the Supreme Court decision of 1988”. (LifeSite News Nov. 7, 2000)

The Hill Times reports that Mr. Chretien said in a late September caucus meeting that
the party will campaign on the issue of “state versus church.” The newspaper reports that Chretien said the election is “about whether we will have a referendum on abortion or capital punishment. Or should the church set the school curriculum.” (LifeSite News, Oct. 17, 2000)

At St. Joseph’s Catholic High School in Barrie, Ont., Mr. Chretien responded to a question about his position on abortion as follows: “Personally, I don’t have to, you know, I’m not at the age anymore to have my wife have abortion, but the reality … is that it is the choice of not the husband to decide in my judgment, it is the judgment of the woman according to the values that this person have.” (LifeSite News, Nov. 1, 2000)

Mr. Chretien has taken an unapologetic, clear, hard-line stand in favour of abortion rights for women during this election campaign.

Stockwell Day – Canadian Alliance

He answered Campaign Life Coalition’s CA leadership candidate survey as “pro-life,” saying that he believes human life begins at fertilization. He also said: “I would like to see legal protection of all innocent human life in Canada.”

As a provincial legislator in Alberta, he backed an attempt to stop taxpayer funding of abortion. On euthanasia, he said the current law is “satisfactory,” but “must be monitored carefully so that it is not weakened.”

On reproductive technologies, he said: “I would oppose any NRTs that involve commercial surrogacy arrangements, the sale of sperm, eggs, or zygotes, cloning, or genetic manipulation of embryos such as animal-human hybridization. Existing NRTs such as in-vitro fertilization and various methods of artificial insemination need to be carefully regulated.”

On governance, he said: “I believe that it is the duty of a democratically elected representative to be clear about his conscientious beliefs, and to represent his constituents to the best of his ability by voting in accordance with his constituents’ wishes. However, I believe that this obligation cannot bind legislators to vote in favour of measures which would abrogate inalienable human rights, such as the rights to life, liberty, and property,” adding that he believes that abortion and euthanasia abrogate inalienable human rights.

During the current campaign, Mr. Day has avoided referring to the abortion issue or providing any arguments supporting his beliefs or countering in any way his opponents’ hard-line stand. He has usually given brief responses to repeated questioning on abortion, stating only that he believes that life begins at conception, that “abortion isn’t even on the platform of the party” and that “it should be talked about in a very respectful way”. He also states that under an Alliance government, citizens would be free to bring different types of issues to the government via citizen-initiated referendums.

Gilles Duceppe – Bloc Quebecois

Mr. Duceppe has never made life or family issues a priority.

He voted against the marriage motion introduced by the Reform Party in June last year for the purpose of affirming Parliament’s commitment to a heterosexual definition of marriage.

He insisted that all Bloc MPs vote in favour of Bill C-23, giving same-sex partners the same government benefits granted to common-law couples, at final reading, telling those who opposed the legislation not to vote at all, reports Campaign Quebec-Vie.

oe Clark – Progressive Conservative

On Nov. 14, 2000 while campaigning in Calgary, Clark stated he supports a “woman’s right to choose”, and that “It is simply unacceptable that there should be a suggestion that . . . 400,000 men in the country could force a referendum on a woman’s right to choose.”

He admitted to being “pro-choice” on a radio station in Atlantic Canada in July of this year.

In the same interview he maintained that the Liberals’ recent Bill C-23 simply extended benefits to same-sex couples, dismissing a caller’s claim that it had any impact on the definition of marriage.

In the current election campaign, he has criticized the Canadian Alliance over homosexual issues, arguing that his party is very affirming of homosexuals

During the Nov. 10 leaders debate Clark stated “…I certainly think that a woman’s right to choose has been settled in this country and it should not be opened again by referenda or by other ways. If Mr. Day wants to open it, he should have the courage to go out and open it directly, not to use some indirect, backdoor route such as a referendum”.

Alexa McDonough – NDP

During leaders Oct. 10 debate stated “we see creeping onto the agenda an increasing atmosphere of intolerance on issues that have to do with limiting the choices of people, limiting the choices of women to make about their own reproduction and their own bodies”.

During an exchange with Alliance leader Stockwell Day on Nov. 20 McDonough stated “I find it absolutely outrageous that Stockwell Day thinks he can subject my right to choose, my right to make reproductive choices, my right to control the decisions affecting my own body to a referendum and start talking about percentages”.

Answered euthanasia question in 1997 questionnaire with “neither yes or no”. Said there needs to be “a profound and soul-searching public discussion”. But, in a May 23, 1997 riding debate she said “we’re going to decriminalize the treatment of doctors who carry out this kind of voluntary request for a merciful death within guidelines that are clearly and publicly debated and ultimately adopted.”

Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere (EGALE) distributed party leaders’ comments on homosexual “marriage” as published by MuchMusic. Ms. McDonough reportedly said: “Yes, and I voted that way in the House of Commons. I celebrate love in all its many forms, and if gay and lesbian couples wish to marry, I support them and wish them many years of happiness. I’m also the first leader to ever march in a Pride Parade …”

Ms. McDonough is a vice-president of the Presidium of the Socialist International.

Ron Gray – Christian Heritage

Mr. Gray actively takes part in many pro-life activities throughout the country, including conferences and public events, keeping himself in touch with the concerns and priorities of the Canadian pro-life community.