MP’s pro-life event draws no protest
A meet-and-greet between Conservative leadership candidate Brad Trost and pro-life supporters was not interrupted by protesters despite concerns about such action having forced a change of venue.
Trost had booked a room for Saturday at Saskatoon’s Alice Turner library to host public meetings on a variety of topics — including respect for life — but the library cancelled the booking because of concerns over safety and security.
The Conservative MP has accused the library of stifling free speech and told reporters Saturday he doesn’t buy the institution’s reasoning.
“I thought it was inappropriate,” he said. “If security had been their issue, they could have phoned us and asked us to deal with it or they could have phoned and dealt with the Saskatoon city police. The fact that we weren’t asked about the potential threat, to me, makes me wonder about the seriousness of their reasoning.”
The Conservative MP moved his meetings to a room at the Sandman Hotel. When welcoming the 60-some people who packed the room, he thanked the library for inadvertently providing free advertising for the event.
Though protesters posted on a Facebook event page late in the week telling people to find ways into the talk and set up across the street, the page appeared to have been deleted by Saturday morning and no protesters were present in or outside the gathering.
Trost told reporters he had never been worried about protesters showing up; he said Saskatchewan protesters tend to be quiet and respectful.
“This is Saskatoon, we don’t have to worry about these issues here,” he said.
Over the course of the hour-long question-and-answer session, Trost talked about ways he would advance the pro-life agenda if he became prime minister.
It would be very difficult to ban abortions — not all Conservative MPs would support a law to that effect and such a bill would be unlikely to pass the Senate even if they did — but Trost said, if he became prime minister, he would give the health minister a mandate to encourage a culture of life, ensure the government does not fund Planned Parenthood and make sure legislation is passed to protect unborn victims of violence.
Trost also fielded questions on doctor-assisted dying and support for indigenous children.
He said tighter regulations are needed around Canada’s right-todie legislation and that he is willing to invoke the notwithstanding clause to block the legislation from covering minors and people with mental health issues.
On the issue of providing support for indigenous youth, Trost said non-governmental organizations, not the government, need to take charge of things.
“If you do it all on a government system, it doesn’t work,” he said. “We need to have that concept where — be it private-sector groups of aboriginal backgrounds and control, various religious faith groups have worked in there — is that those sort of groups need to be the ones that take the lead and the government backs off and supports them ... Tons of money in some places has not always produced adequate results. It’s how you spend and who’s spending it too.”
He said the federal government, instead of investing money to help developing countries fight climate change, should reallocate those funds to local environmental issues and projects, including ensuring there is clean drinking water on First Nation reserves.
The Conservative Party of Canada will choose its leader from a 14-candidate field in May.