By James Bryson
In the dizzying dash for vaccine mandates, James Bryson asks, what happened to the liberal/Liberal claims of “my body, my choice” that justified abortion and MAiD?
By throwing their weight behind vaccine mandates, Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada have picked a strange hill to die on in the run to Canada’s snap election next week.
The Liberal support of vaccine mandates represent a 180 degree turn away from what had been their staunch defence of individual autonomy for the last two generations, reaching back at least to the institution of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms introduced by the Liberal government led by our Prime Minister’s father, Pierre Elliott Trudeau.
Two culturally divisive issues stand out in the Liberal and liberal support of individual autonomy as a touchstone of their vision for Canada’s future: abortion and Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD).
While abortion is not technically a right, it is legal in Canada. In 1989, The Supreme Court of Canada found that prospective fathers have no interest in the foetus that would interfere with a woman’s right to control her body, and that the rights of the unborn child do not begin until after birth. A pregnant woman’s bodily autonomy became absolute.
The only thing standing in the way of total victory for the liberal position on abortion is ease of access. To give a sense of the finely tuned machine that is the abortion industry, in my home province of Nova Scotia there has been no interruption of abortion services during the pandemic when many other normal or even vital services and areas of care or treatment were cancelled, delayed, or simply neglected.
For a potted history of MAiD, we can go back a bit further to 1972 when suicide and attempted suicide were decriminalized, while assisted suicide remained illegal. When the Charter was introduced, it was only a matter of time before the reasoning that informed a Supreme...