(Ottawa) Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer is adamant that he pledges to personally vote against any move to reopen the abortion debate if he is elected prime minister in the October 21 elections.
In addition, he expects a future cabinet he leads to follow his example by also opposing a private bill that would relaunch the debate on this thorny issue.
In an interview with Press On Friday, Mr. Scheer argued that there is no ambiguity about his position, which is exactly the same as the one defended by the former Conservative government led by Stephen Harper. During Harper's 10-year reign, a handful of Conservative MPs tabled private bills to restrict access to abortion, but his government has consistently opposed it.
"I was very, very clear that as Prime Minister, I will oppose every measure that would reopen this debate. So, I will vote against any measure that would aim to do that. And I will expect my office to follow the government's position. That's our party's position, "said Scheer.
The Conservative leader also reiterated that he does not intend to prevent a member from submitting a private member's bill on this issue. "We are the only party that gives this freedom to our caucus. But at the same time I will encourage my MPs to follow the politics of our party as well. I am confident that our caucus will focus on working on issues that unite Canadians. It is clear that there is a diversity of opinions within the population. It is normal in our caucus to have people with different perspectives. But the caucus must work as a team. I'm confident our caucus will do it, "said Scheer.
Just days before the federal election was called, Scheer was accused by Justin Trudeau's Liberals of blowing hot and cold on this issue so as not to offend pro-life groups that would support the Conservative Party. next elections. Since becoming leader of the Liberal Party and Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau has formally banned MPs from introducing private abortion bills.
Mr. Scheer replied that the Liberals first and foremost wanted to forget their record of four years in power by raising doubts about his position on abortion while he intends to respect the Conservative Party's policy of the time of Stephen Harper.
"We will focus on the things that unite us and not the ones that create divisions. This is my position as leader and it will be my position as prime minister. There is nothing that has changed in our party. Our party has always recognized freedom of conscience, freedom of expression and diversity of opinion on issues such as these. But we also said that we will never reopen this debate. It was the government's record under Stephen Harper and nothing has changed since. "