Most of you, I am sure, remember this summer’s United Nations pro-abort jamboree, affectionately billed as Cairo+5. I thought some of you may be interested in some of the correspondence that took place between the Reform Party’s family critic, Eric Lowther, and Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lloyd Axworthy. Mr. Lowther’s office recently released copies of the letters that went back and forth between January and August of this year.

Mr. Lowther first asked for clarification of the criteria the Department of Foreign Affairs used to choose which groups it would consult before formulating the Canadian delegation’s proposals for Cairo+5. He apparently never received a response to these questions. We know that Planned Parenthood affiliate, ACPD (Action Canada for Population and Development), was given the responsibility to choose the organizations that would participate.

Mr. Lowther also asked to be included in the Canadian delegation to the Cairo+5 PrepCom (preparatory meetings). He was turned down, and Mr. Axworthy’s explanation, given in a letter to Reform Whip Chuck Strahl, was that Mr. Lowther didn’t qualify: “Because of the technical nature of the PrepCom we are sending officials and civil society representatives (non-governmental organizations) who possess the detailed knowledge and experience required to draft and negotiate on behalf of Canada.”

Cue cards

Question number one from pro-lifers: How much technical knowledge is necessary to read from Planned Parenthood’s cue cards?

Mr. Lowther refuted Mr. Axworthy’s claim, using the declaration of the government’s favoured Canadian Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (CAPPD), to do so. CAPPD is currently lead by Toronto Liberal MP Jean Augustine. “As representatives of the Canadian people,” the declaration reads, “Parliamentarians are given the unique opportunity to raise the national awareness of population and development issues and to influence and shape policy decisions consistent with commitments made at international conferences and in Canadian Foreign Policy.”

On June 4, following further requests from both Mr. Lowther and Mr. Strahl, Mr. Axworthy, told the Reform Whip: “I will be relying on the all-party Canadian Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development to make the necessary recommendations (for Cairo+5 participants).” Pro-family observers will by stunned to discover that this pro-abort, feminist-driven body did not recommend the Reform Party’s Family Critic as a member of the Canadian delegation.

‘Broad-based consultations’

Later, on June 14, the Foreign Affairs Minister assured Mr. Lowther that “Canada’s positions at the PrepCom reflect current government policies developed after broad-based consultations with Canadians. Canadian officials operate within the negotiating guidelines authorized by their ministers.”

Question number two from pro-lifers: If the Liberal government’s international agenda is based on broad-based consultations with Canadians, why have they so far refused to advance it even half as openly in Canada as they have at the UN where the majority of their work escapes the scrutiny of most Canadians?