MP Trost crit­i­cizes gov’t over Planned Par­ent­hood

Regina Leader-Post - - News - LANA HAIGHT THE STARPHOENIX

SASKATOON — Saskatoon-Hum­boldt MP Brad Trost is tak­ing on his own govern­ment over its de­ci­sion to fund sev­eral In­ter­na­tional Planned Par­ent­hood Fed­er­a­tion pro­grams.

- ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment Agency granted $6 mil­lion over three years to Planned Par­ent­hood for ser­vices it will de­liver in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Mali, Su­dan and Tan­za­nia. The or­ga­ni­za­tion is one of sev­eral that ap­plied for money through the Muskoka Ini­tia­tive Part­ner­ship Pro­gram, a $75-mil­lion fund al­lo­cated to im­prove the health of moth­ers, new­born ba­bies and chil­dren in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries.

“Peo­ple have asked how fund­ing (In­ter­na­tional Planned Par­ent­hood Fed­er­a­tion) squares with the re­peated state­ment that Canada will not fund abor­tion in­ter­na­tion­ally. The (Prime Min­is­ter’s Of­fice) at­tempts to square this cir­cle by only per­mit­ting IPPF fund­ing to go into coun­tries that ban abor­tion,” wrote Trost on his web­site Wed­nes­day morn­ing.

“Con­sid­er­ing that pro­mot­ing abor­tion in­ter­na­tion­ally is cen­tral to the iden­tity of IPPF, this sort of po­lit­i­cal hair­split­ting only seems to make sense in the Ot­tawa bub­ble. This is a po­si­tion I to­tally re­ject,” con­tin­ued Trost’s mes­sage.

Trost says the fed­eral govern­ment has re­opened the abor­tion de­bate in Canada.

“I don’t feel, nec­es­sar­ily, that I opened the abor­tion de­bate. I think they did by re-in­vig­o­rat­ing the story and also by push­ing so­cially con­ser­va­tive MPs into a cor­ner by telling us that there is noth­ing we can do by work­ing the sys­tem,” he said Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon in a tele­phone in­ter­view from Ot­tawa.

Ap­proval of Planned Par­ent­hood’s ap­pli­ca­tion shouldn’t be a sur­prise, says a fed­eral govern­ment spokesper­son.

“We made it clear dur­ing the elec­tion that if this or­ga­ni­za­tion met the cri­te­ria of the pro­gram that they would be funded. Peo­ple have known for a few months now that this was our po­si­tion,” said Justin Broekema, a spokesper­son for Bev Oda, the min­is­ter re­spon­si­ble for CIDA.

“Our can­di­dates would have been aware.”

But Trost had ex­pected that the in­flu­ence of many pro-life Con­ser­va­tive MPs would have been enough to per­suade the govern­ment to stop fund­ing Planned Par­ent­hood per­ma­nently.

The $6-mil­lion grant is the first fed­eral money Planned Par­ent- this new grant, Trost says it’s time for Con­ser­va­tives to be more vo­cal about their op­po­si­tion to their own govern­ment.

“The bat­tle over the IPPF con­tin­ues. Pro-life politi­cians have been taught a les­son. The govern­ment only re­sponds to pro-life is­sues and con­cerns when we take an ag­gres­sive stance. We will ap­ply this les­son,” Trost wrote on his web­site.

He ad­mits op­pos­ing his govern­ment on this is­sue means he’ll re­main a back­bencher.

“I’m not go­ing to be put in the cabi­net next week. I wasn’t an­tic­i­pat­ing that. You can go into pol­i­tics for one of two rea­sons — be­cause you firmly be­lieve some­thing is right and to make a bet­ter Canada, or to get a job. I’m not try­ing to get a job,” Trost said dur­ing the in­ter­view.

No one from the Prime Min­is­ter’s Of­fice was made avail­able for an in­ter­view.

“Our of­fice has no com­ment on Trost,” wrote An­drew MacDougall, a spokesper­son for the Prime Min­is­ter’s Of­fice, in an email.

“The Govern­ment has been quite clear that it would ap­prove projects that met the cri­te­ria of the Muskoka Ini­tia­tive — cri­te­ria that were ap­proved by Par­lia­ment. The goal here is to save the lives of moth­ers and chil­dren in the de­vel­op­ing world,” he said in the email.

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