Trudeau, the son of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau and someone who is often touted as a possible future leader of the beleaguered Liberal Party, was asked whether he could support Quebec sovereignty and he told the French-language station that: “I always say, if at a certain point, I believe that Canada was really the Canada of Stephen Harper – that we were going against abortion, and we were going against gay marriage and we were going backwards in 10,000 different ways – maybe I would think about wanting to make Quebec a country.” He explained further: “Oh yes. Absolutely. If I no longer recognize Canada. For me, my values, I know them very well. But I believe profoundly in Canada, and I know that Quebec within Canada can (restore) this all.”
The Globe and Mail website broke the story on its website two days later just before noon. The response was relatively muted. Of the four Toronto dailies, only the National Post but the story on its cover, with the Toronto Star and Globe and Mail burying the article in the middle of their A sections. Although Sun News host Ezra Levant was all over the story, noting that Justin’s father Pierre was a strong federalist, the rest of the broadcast media downplayed the story, featuring it well into their evening public affairs programming. The CBC’s Power and Politics show, dedicated a short segment in its two hour program to the topic. Justin Trudeau both justified and back-tracked from his comments when he explained that he does not support Quebec leaving the rest of Canada because the country needs its progressive outlook to balance the right-leaning political orientation of English-speaking Canada.
Campaign Life Coalition national president Jim Hughes called Trudeau’s comments “outrageous.” Hughes said they illustrated a pro-abortion extremism “setting out the defense of killing innocent unborn babies as one of two conditions for breaking up the country.”
Hughes added that Trudeau ignores the fact that Stephen Harper is not “going against abortion” and that it is “classic scaremongering with the hidden agenda card.” Hughes noted that Harper has vowed to prevent pro-life MPs from addressing the issue.
Joseph C. Ben-Ami, president of the Canadian Center for Policy Studies, an Ottawa-based conservative think-tank, criticized Trudeau for reintroducing the “hidden agenda” charge against Harper. “For better or worse, PM Harper’s public and private opposition to re-opening the same-sex marriage or abortion debates is the chief impediment to the Conservative Party tackling either issue,” Ben-Ami told LifeSiteNews. “Mr. Trudeau knows this full well, so his angst is completely disingenuous and contrived,” he added.
Levant raised another issue on Sun News. He said that Trudeau’s comments betrayed a deep distrust and dislike of democracy, noting that MPs and voters respect the outcome of parliamentary debates and government decisions, not threaten to tear apart the country over policy differences.