Canada’s Liberal Party rejects future pro-life candidates

Canada’s Liberal Party won’t accept new candidates who don’t support its pro-choice abortion stance.

This was announced by Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau, who is a Catholic.

Federal elections for the Ottawa House of Commons are scheduled for next year.

Mr Trudeau described the new rule as part of a screening process that includes questions on abortion and same-sex marriage.

“We make sure that the people who are stepping forward are consistent with the Liberal Party as it is now, as it stands under my leadership and under the feedback we’re getting from Canadians across the country.”

The new rules do not apply to sitting pro-life members who are seeking re-election.

“The party that we’re building, and that we’re continuing to build as we form government, will be resolutely pro-choice,” Mr Trudeau told reporters.

“I have made it clear that future candidates need to be completely understanding that they will be expected to vote pro-choice on any bills.”

Mr Trudeau said he did not want the abortion debate re-opened and current pro-life MPs should not try to do so.

“For me, it’s a debate that has been settled for the vast majority of Canadians and we don’t need to reopen that issue,” he said.

This new “bottom line”, as Mr Trudeau called it, goes a step farther than the past Liberal policy on abortion.

This allowed all MPs a free vote on this issue and other matters of conscience, such as same-sex marriage.

Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton reacted to the Trudeau announcement with anger.

“Here we have a man who would like to be Prime Minister some day, dictating to party members that they must vote against fundamental human rights,” he said.

The abortion declaration threatens to shine a spotlight on Mr Trudeau’s vow of open nomination contests for candidates.

At issue is whether the Liberal Party is open only to those candidates who meet the leader’s approval.

Mr Trudeau, son of former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, took over as leader of the Liberals a year ago.


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