Campaign Life Coalition did not expect much from Justin Trudeau’s cabinet shuffle considering that Trudeau’s entire Liberal caucus is pro-abortion. But when CLC national president Jeff Gunnarson saw the newly unveiled cabinet Nov. 19, he told The Interimit was worse than expected.
Gunnarson said he is concerned with one minister who kept his portfolio and upset that a “rabid pro-abortionist” was moved into the health ministry.
David Lametti remains Minister of Justice and Attorney General. Lametti was one of four Liberal MPs to vote against his own government’s 2016 bill legalizing euthanasia and assisted-suicide. Lametti complained that the law did not go far enough liberalizing euthanasia. In January 2019, when Lametti replaced Jody Wilson-Raybould as Justice Minister, he said the government had no intention of expanding criteria for euthanasia before the federal election but left the door open to eliminating what scant safeguards existed in the previous law, including opening the door to euthanasia for so-called “mature minors,” allowing advanced directives so that patients could be euthanized after they lost their competency to request the procedure, and possibly opening the door to Medical Aid in Dying for non-terminal patients.
Gunnarson said the euthanasia law should be repealed and the government should focus on palliative care, “rather than expand medicalized killing.” He called Lametti a “euthanasia ideologue” who “should be nowhere near the Justice portfolio.”
Patty Hajdu is the new Minister of Health. As Minister of Labour, Hajdu was responsible for the Trudeau government Summer Jobs attestation program. In 2018, the government made receiving federal funding for the hiring of summer students contingent upon signing an attestation of support for abortion and same-sex “marriage.” After a backlash against the policy, which effectively discriminated against many faith groups, Hadju amended the program for 2019 to prohibit funding for any organization or company that has as a “core mandate” opposition to abortion and same-sex “marriage.” Meanwhile, pro-abortion and pro-LGBTQ groups continued to receiving summer student subsidies.
Hadju told Global News that the attestation program was designed to screen for “organizations that are anti-abortion distributing very graphic pictures of aborted fetuses or organizations that won’t hire LGBTQ members or young people.” She explained, “We know that these are a fundamental violation of the rights that Canadians expect, so we’re asking organizations this year to attest that the activities they conduct as an organization and the job description will respect the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.”
Canadian Press obtained 200 pages of documents through an Access of Information Act search and found that a briefing note from Hajdu showed she had sought to restrict pro-life groups from accessing the Summer Jobs program after news broke that a pro-life crisis pregnancy center received funding in 2017. CP reported, “A briefing note from August shows Hajdu had already directed the department to come up with the new employer declaration to ensure funding went to groups with ‘mandates that are consistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and court decisions’.” Hadju also wanted to approve the final wording. CP also reported that ministry lawyers were concerned that the new policy might violate the Charter rights of religious organizations denied funding under the proposed scheme.
Gunnarson said it is “extremely troubling that the most pro-abortion government in Canadian history has found one of the most activist and vocal pro-abortion ministers to install as Minister of Health.” Gunnarson said he expects the Liberal government to promote abortion more aggressively.
Gunnarson also expressed concern that Chrystia Freeland becomes Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. As Foreign Affairs Minister, Freeland was vocal in her support of the government’s pro-abortion and feminist foreign policy. “We are concerned that she will use her new job as Intergovernmental Affairs Minister to pressure provinces to increase and promote abortion,” said Gunnarson. “At a time of increased regional grievances against Ottawa, it would be the wrong approach to pressure provinces in an area of provincial jurisdiction.”
Bardish Chagger is the new Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth. Gunnarson said CLC will watch how the new portfolio is used to promote gender and feminist ideologies, especially as the Trudeau government looks to be propped up by the socially liberal NDP and Bloc Quebcois.
Also, Maryam Monsef becomes Minister of Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development after serving as Minister of International Development, a perch from which Monsef promoted the Trudeau government’s abortion agenda. Gunnarson is worried that she will push abortion domestically in the same way she did internationally over the past two years.
Other ministers of note include Karina Gould, who was named the new Minister of International Development, which has committed $7 billion over the next decade to fund abortion and reproductive health and its promotion abroad; Francois-Philippe Champagne, who becomes Minister of Foreign Affairs, and will be responsible for Canadian foreign policy; and Ahmed Hussen, who becomes Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.