MP Trost criticizes gov’t over Planned Parenthood
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.