On the weekend, Globe and Mail columnist John Ibbitson said even if many Conservative caucus members are pro-life, Stephen Harper doesn’t want to touch the abortion issue because he thinks it will prevent him from gaining seats. That’s the conventional wisdom, at least.

The NDP has a plan for universal daycare:  emulate the Quebec model of subsidized $7-a-day daycare. It will cost Canadian taxpayers $3.3 billion over four years and the NDP claims it will create 100,000 new public, non-profit child care spaces. Those numbers are dubious, but more problematic is the idea that the regulated daycare industry is the best place for children. What about helping families so parents can stay home and raise kids?

The NDP is promising to reverse “years of setbacks for women imposed by Stephen Harper.” NDP leader Jack Layton says that under Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper “Canada is going in the wrong direction for women” noting that they have defunded women’s advocacy and they tolerate a caucus “still divided over a woman’s right to choose.” How does having pro-life members of Parliament represent a setback for Canadian women?

The NDP is promising to protect access to abortion although it is far from clear what that means other than defeating the Conservatives, who have also vowed not to touch access to abortion. An unnamed “party official” says that they would increase access in areas that do not have doctors and hospitals committing abortion, although even that “official” was unclear how that would be achieved except through negotiation with the provinces. Layton did say, however, that he would elevate the Status of Women from an agency to a ministry.

If Henry Morgentaler holds a press conference and no one covers it, did it really happen? Minimal coverage. You have to look really hard to find any mention of it in the press. Joyce Arthur and a bunch of unidentified “women’s groups” are calling up Canadians to prevent a Conservative victory, for the sake of abortion. The CTV.com story is from the Canadian Press which does not report that the press conference of “several women’s health groups” was held at the Morgentaler clinic in Toronto. The video report from a CTV reporter has a bit more detail, but still comes up short. Brian Lilley had a line on Sun News that Morgentaler and his allies just want to elect their left-wing friends because on May 2 Canadians have a choice between a left-wing party that will fund abortion for all nine months of pregnancy and a right-wing party that will fund abortion for all nine months of pregnancy; why bother opposing the Tories? The daily papers largely ignored the Morgentaler press conference, probably because it is becoming really old news: every campaign about a week before the election, Morgentaler calls a press conference urging Canadians to vote NDP or Liberal to stop the Tories (or in 2000, the Canadian Alliance).

Tyranny of Nice co-author Kathy Shaidle has a Canada.com column on the human rights commission industry. She writes: “my challenge to Canadian candidates is: abolish the corrupt, costly state-censorship bureaucratic apparatus we call Human Rights Commissions.” It is disappointing that HRCs are not more of an issue in the election campaign.