Canada’s conservative political parties are desperately trying to declare discussion of the leaked United States Supreme Court draft ruling on abortion a political no-fly zone. 

The young Jason Kenney, now Premier of Alberta (Photo: Screenshot of YouTube video).

The powerful and extensive influence of radical social conservative opponents of women’s reproductive rights on the Conservative Party of Canada and the United Conservative Party of Alberta is the dirty little open secret of this country’s conservative movement. 

With the leak of the shocking/not shocking plan by the Republican-packed majority on the now thoroughly politicized U.S. Supreme Court to allow American states to ban abortions outright and speed the republic toward theocracy, Canadian conservatives who drink from the same ideological well would very much like to shut down any inconvenient discussion of that topic here. 

Albertans and Canadians who support women’s right to bodily autonomy are already being offered anodyne assurances that Canada’s Conservatives have no plans to change anything and the law in Canada is a settled matter. Let’s just talk about something else, we’re told, presumably something more to their own political advantage. 

Of course, this assurance will only hold true until it doesn’t hold true – just like the nearly identical promises by all those American Supreme Court justices at their Senate confirmation hearings – at which point it will be too late to stop them.

It would be naïve to imagine the so-called right-to-lifers who pack the ranks of Canadian conservative parties are any less determined to achieve their political and cultural goals than their ideological fellow travellers south of the world’s longest undefended border.

Sherwood Park-Fort Saskatchewan MP Garnett Genuis (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

Count on conservatives to get nastier about this in the next hours and days if other Canadians refuse to knuckle under to their demands to talk about something else. Bot armies are doubtless already pouring across the 49th Parallel on a special ideological operation to stop Canadians from connecting the obvious dots.

At the same time, legislative caucuses of elected conservatives have been instructed to keep their lips zipped – especially those of them who want to destroy reproductive rights. 

When the orders to zip it went out from acting federal Conservative Leader Candace Bergen, they were justified on the ludicrous grounds the question was before the court – never mind that the court in question is thoroughly politicized and located in another country.

Still, the challenge was too much for some. 

“I am proud to be one of the MPs who believes in the immutable dignity of the human person, regardless of gender, age, level of development, sexual orientation, disability, or any other characteristic,” dog-whistled Sherwood Park-Fort Saskatchewan MP Garnett Genuis yesterday evening. (Emphasis added, of course.)

St. Alberta-Edmonton MP Michael Cooper (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

Like Ms. Bergen, Mr. Genuis is on the list of the 39 MPs who have received a “green light” stamp of approval from the anti-abortion Campaign Life. The other Alberta MPs on the list of the most committed parliamentary opponents of Canadians’ reproductive rights: Blaine Calkins, Red Deer-Lacombe; Michael Cooper, St. Albert; Tom Kmiec, Calgary Shepherd; Damien Kurek, Battle-River-Crowfoot; Mike Lake, Edmonton-Wetaskiwin; Dane Lloyd, Sturgeon River-Parkland; Glen Motz, Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner; Jeremy Patzer, Cypress Hills-Grasslands; Shannon Stubbs, Lakeland; Rachel Thomas, Lethbridge; Arnold Viersen, Peace River-Westlock; and Chris Warkentin, Grande Prairie-Mackenzie. 

That’s 43 per cent of the Conservative Party’s Alberta Caucus in the House of Commons!

As for the UCP, it’s no secret that anti-abortion MLAs are found in considerable numbers in its caucus, although the party and its backers play the actual number of such MLAs close to their vests. Certainly Premier Jason Kenney is among them, notwithstanding his past promises not to reopen the debate on the topic. Education Minister Adriana LaGrange and Peace River MLA Dan Williams share their views.

But even before the UCP was elected in 2019, Cameron Wilson, political director of the misleadingly named anti-abortion group, the Wilberforce Project, proclaimed: “If the UCP wins the upcoming election we will have the most pro-life legislature in decades, maybe ever.”

He would know. His group was busy in the lead-up to the 2019 election recruiting anti-abortion candidates, covert and overt, to seek UCP nominations. 

Meanwhile, the former Social Credit Party, seemingly taken over by anti-abortion activists, changed its name to the Pro-life Alberta Political Association, rather patriarchally abbreviated to PAPA, and thereby neatly circumvented legal limits on political advertising during election campaigns. 

In recent Elections Alberta political contributions reports, the party has come third after the NDP and UCP. 

Challenged in the Legislature by Opposition Leader Rachel Notley to condemn the attack on reproductive rights in the U.S. courts, Mr. Kenney adopted a rope-a-dope defence, saying the questions are for the American legal system, nothing to do with us, under federal jurisdiction in Canada, yadda-yadda

He refused to be pinned down. 

But the unavoidable conclusion – desperate Conservative diversion tactics notwithstanding – is that who gets elected matters, and it’s important to pay attention to what the candidates in your electoral district believe.

Canadian voters not only have a right, they have a duty, to ask every candidate for elected office, including those contesting party leadership races, to clearly state their position on this fundamental issue. Fudging and evasion should be taken as confirmation of opposition to Canadians’ reproductive rights.

Join the Conversation


  1. It is interesting to watch Kenney squirm. He usually has plenty to say about Federal issues outside of his jurisdiction, but I suspect he has figured out this is too hot to touch at the moment. In a way, the anti abortionists strategy here is similar to the US – stealth.

    They know they don’t have popular opinion on side. The last time abortion was talked about much in Canada it ended Scheer and his Federal Conservative Party’s election hopes. Of course, in the US the strategy was to stack the Supreme Court, here in Canada it will be just not to talk about it much and wait until the Conservatives get elected.

    However as much as the US Supreme Court show down was inevitable, the timing is also inconvenient for Canadian Conservatives – both those desperately trying to win or keep power. It could certainly shift public debate from issues that the Conservatives currently see as winning ones, like fiscal management and inflation, to social issues that seem to be a quagmire for them. It could also be divisive for Conservatives, especially turning off those not interested in social conservatism.

    I doubt Kenney’s views and objectives have changed much from the days he was on CNN as an anti abortion activist, just the political strategy.

  2. Thank you for this, DC. Could this be a huge blunder for US conservatives? Poll results suggest that a solid majority of Americans reject state interference in abortion rights: according to today’s Guardian newspaper a Politico/Morning Consult study found voters are two to one in favour of preserving the 1973 Roe v Wade opinion that safeguarded protected women’s access to abortions.
    A separate Washington Post/ABC poll reports 54% in favour of preserving Roe, and 28% against, while an even higher number of Americans, 70%, think abortion is a private issue between patient and doctor.

    So an optimistic thought: will the US conservative electoral tide start to turn?

    1. Very telling that, after spending 50 years telling everyone who will listen how they’re going to repeal Roe, the Republicans don’t want to take a victory lap. Almost as though they think their actions will be unpopular.

  3. From my perspective it gets more than a little tiresome when people are so arrogant that they want to impose their faith, their beliefs on others.

    I grew up in a province where church and state often had an unholy alliance. The public suffered. The economy suffered.

    That bond was eventually broken. The Church suffers to this day in that province and is viewed with a great deal of distrust and cynicism.

  4. I wonder how much of Wilberforce’s funding comes from foreign sources?They claim there is none but they are proven liars.

  5. A few thoughts to ponder:

    Are you aware of a society that offers conception certificates instead of birth certificates?
    Have you ever seen someone celebrate their conceptionday instead of their birthday?
    When a “person” dies in a miscarriage, do we send the coroner to investigate, like we do when a person dies in any other circumstances?
    When a person dies, we hold a funeral. Have you ever attended a funeral for a “person” who was miscarried?
    When a person dies, we issue a death certificate and charge death taxes. Do we do these things when a “person” dies in a miscarriage?
    If a person, or group of people, sincerely believed that life begins at conception, surely they would do some or all of those things, right?
    The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms gives all people the right to life. Has anyone ever brought a class action lawsuit on behalf of all the unborn “people” whose right to life was violated by abortions? This seems like a very good way to force a legal, precedent setting ruling about whether the unborn count as “people.”

    Have you ever seen anyone volunteer to raise unwanted infants? Are you aware of a charity, church or not-for-profit that tries to find homes for unwanted infants? Keep in mind, this is not the same as “adoption,” which is a much more expensive and difficult process than most people think. If someone wants to adopt an infant, the infant is not unwanted. If people really cared about the “plight of the unborn,” why do these charities not exist?

    It seems to me that pro-life Canadians and Americans both behave as though they believe that someone is not a person until they are born… except when pretending otherwise gives them a chance to punch down at everyone’s favourite opponent, someone who can’t fight back. In the immortal words of George Carlin, “They aren’t pro-life, they’re anti-woman!”

  6. Garnett Genuis, if that is your real name, dog-whistling platitudes aside, have you ever handed out free prenatal vitamins to pregnant women? The same could be asked of the Wilberforce Project. When the rubber hits the road the “pro-life” political club seems to want to control and punish women, impoverish families, and create the social stresses that lead to the abortion clinic, the orphanage, or even worse.

    If the leading lights of these political movements are the Republican party south of the border, that leaves a lot of questions to be asked. The Ohio legislature is currently debating a bill that requires an ectopic pregnancy (when an egg ends up attaching to a fallopian tube) to be gently moved to the uterus. An impossible procedure. But why stop there? Take it from the late Todd Akin who spent a dozen years in each of the Missouri state legislature and afterwards in the US Congress. Asked about exemptions in cases of rape: “First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

    It’s impossible to argue that any concern for women or babies is a central motivation. In 2009, in Brazil (way south of the border,) a step-father forcibly impregnated his 9-year-old step-daughter. The girl weighed 80 pounds and was carrying twins. She was at extreme risk. Nonetheless, the girl’s mother and the two doctors who saved her life were automatically excommunicated under canon law. Being 9, the girl couldn’t be excommunicated. The step-father? No such punishment.

    The wedge in these wedge issues is sharp, the reality is ugly and messy. The politics it attracts is even more so.


    1. I’m sure the step father confessed and was absolved of all his sins after a few hail mary’s and maybe a nice donation to the church or whatever they do.

  7. Kenney behaves much like his fellow travelers in the GOP, who emphasize the leak of the draft opinion, rather than the fact the opinion destroys a constitutional right that women have enjoyed for 50 years. They are scandalized by the leak, play the victim, and howl with outrage about it, but downplay the dire consequences the opinion will have on women and the country in general.

    Kenney, when confronted by inconvenient realities, deflects from the real issue to play the victim and hide his true intentions by claiming the Notley is trying to create a controversy where none exists and, by making this claim, implying that she is overreacting. What Bumbles is doing in response to Notley’s question is little different than the misogyny demonstrated by the response to almost every woman who has raised the spectre of the danger to Roe v Wade – that misogynistic response is always that the valid concerns of many thoughtful women are an overreaction or the product of fearful hysteria. Likewise, Kenney’s credibility on this matter is, I would argue, even less than the credibility of Gorsuch, Barret, and Kavanaugh. Liars, every one of them.

    The UCP may not have any current plans to change abortion access. And, we can be certain, as with most health services, they have no plans to actually improve service. Currently, the level of service is less than optimal. If you live outside of Calgary or Edmonton and need this service, you will have to travel to either of these places or find a doctor who can prescribe appropriate medication for you.

    I suppose the current situation is better than it used to be not so long ago (within my memory at least), when women who needed this service used to have to go to Montana. But, it is still not great, and the barriers for many women who need the service are significant. You don’t need to criminalize abortion to make it difficult to or impossible to get. Look at PEI. For many years, there was no way anyone in PEI could get an abortion, except by traveling out of province.

    The UCP is attacking public health care, in general, to the point where it is in a state of collapse. This does not bode well for any health care service, let alone abortion, especially when an anti-abortion agenda is clearly in play.

    Like the mendacious Supremes selected by Trump and the Federalist Society with the collusion of Mitch McConnell and the GOP, Kenney couches his language very carefully so as not to be accused of making a bald-faced lie. But, everyone, except for the gullible (or equally mendacious) Susan Collins, knew that Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barret were lying and hiding their true intentions.

    Equally, we should not be fooled by Bumble’s lame tactics to distract and dissemble on this issue. Bumbles and the UCP have an agenda that targets women’s (and LGBTQ, etc) rights and overlaps very much with GOP’s agenda. Watch what is happening in the US for clues as to what the UCP has in mind for us.

    This province is worse off because of the UCP, and it will get worse if they remain in power.

  8. I feel a certain amount of public shaming for Susan Collins is appropriate. If we believe that she was pro-choice, we are forced to also believe that she is a vapid know-nothing with demonstrably feeble reasoning abilities. “Gawrsh, who woulda thunk Brett would lie to a woman? A-HYUK!”

    If we believe that she is competent to find her posterior with both hands and a map, we must believe she was lying about being pro-choice. Either way, this individual deserves to be immortalized for her important contribution to the downfall of American society.

  9. And here I thought the SoCons, intellectual giants all, were in favour of FREEDOM, that nebulous term which causes elbow nudges and winks among the Con in-crowd when they’re in public vacuuming up free wine and cheese at gatherings. People drove across the country to express their desire for FREEDUMB in Ottawa in January. Followed by Hog Heads this past weekend. Well, let’s not hear any reneging from those wonderful folk, eh?

    So which is it, freedom to act like complete towering dolts or the freedom to order women about to not avail themselves of abortion if they so desire?

    There ain’t a Con living who can argue their way out of that logical conundrum. Freedom is freedom, they say. Well then, they’d better put their money where their mouths are.

    Candice Bergen. Dear god almighty, what a nonentity. My fervent wish is for Trudeau and Singh to keep the topic on the boil and make her life hell. The MAGA hat Bergen wore let us know she thinks she’s a Yankee, and the “before the courts” remark proved she doesn’t even know where she is countrywise. At least Scheer had the decency to try and keep his US citizenship a secret, heh, heh, but Bergen is completely clueless. You know, the Cons missed their big chance at getting a half-decent leader when they couldn’t persuade the little lady with the big hair and a brain to remain leader — I’m referring to Rona Ambrose. She didn’t repel me like all the current cabal of apes who only look human. She is/was the Con version of a feminist, plus sharp and self-confident enough to tell the usual array of subhuman Cons that infest the CPC these days to behave themselves when they reverted to their usual bad habits of dog-whistling. No, I wouldn’t have voted Con with her as leader, but she didn’t insult my intellect either with mindless carping. Well, for a Con, anyway. Of course, having the smarts, she got the hell out of Ottawa just as soon as she could, leaving the CPC caucus to change its own diapers. And they can’t even do that to this day. I’d love to know her opinion of Pepe the Bitcoin freak and yipping lap dog.

    Cons, who needs them.

    1. To be fair, Rona Ambrose scrupulously limited herself to being a caretaker leader – she avoided controversy and was able to avoid weighing in on difficult topics because nobody cared very much what she thought, because she had promised to relinquish the leadership. It’s quite possible she would appear less unusual if she hadn’t been running as a normal leader.

      That said, she’s the most recent ‘serious adult’ the Conservatives have been lead by IMO.

  10. Yes, this needs to be discussed.

    Contraception was illegal in Canada until 1969. In 1988, the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1968–69 was struck down by the Supreme Court of Canada, which ruled that it infringed on women’s right to “life, liberty and security of the person” under Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This is what we’re not discussing now.

    Canadian women have the same rights as Canadian men to bodily autonomy and “life, liberty and security of the person”. This was affirmed by the SCC in 1988. It is a Charter right. Is conservative talk about destroying the Charter really about the core issue of removing women’s right to “life, liberty and security of the person”?

    Just a century ago, the Famous Five brought forward the Persons Case. Will women still be persons if Alberta’s and Canada’s conservatives have their way? Or are we going right back to the Old Testament, when women were chattel? Don’t covet your neighbor’s wife…or his ass. If women rights to bodily autonomy go, what next?

    Enlightened men and women should never vote conservative in Canada. And women should never forget to vote. Barely 100 years ago women gained that right. Don’t let the conservative troglodytes take us all back to the Stone Age.

  11. You fail to address the elephant in the room that leaders like Notley, Trudeau, and Singh have been strong advocates for removing the right to bodily autonomy recently. This, I think, will be the most interesting piece to watch if nothing else to see them trip over their words when reminded. How can they on the one hand say a woman has the right to bodily autonomy with abortion but does not have that same right when it comes to other medical treatments.
    I personally lost a lot of respect for Notley when she went all in on mandates for Trump’s vaccines. Before anyone puts me in the same camp as the Kenneyites I am a firm believer in bodily autonomy period.

    1. Umm…no. False equivalence. I suspect you do not understand the difference between a medical procedure and an infectious disease. You can choose not to get vaccinated or not wear a mask — that choice is yours to make, no one is taking that choice away from you. However, your choice to not wear a mask or get a vaccination may put others at risk. Because of this, you may be restricted in the activities you can engage in, for example, board an airplane, travel to the US, etc. No one is taking away your bodily autonomy by these restrictions.

    2. Your ‘bodily autonomy” ends when it interferes with the health and well being of the rest of society.

      Don’t want the vaccine? Cool. Stay home. Stay off public transit. Pay for someone to do and deliver your shopping.

      Recall why we’ve banned public expectoration?
      No shoes? No service.
      Wash yourself. Wear pants.
      Don’t be a teacher if you test positive for TB.
      Open sore? Not allowed in public pools.
      Throw your grenades by the count of “One…two…five! I mean three!”

    3. If the elephant in the room needs a name it might be obtuse false equivalency.
      There is a major difference between refusing medical treatments and and not accepting the consequences and being refused access the medical treatment you need and having to accept dire consequences.

    4. I would say that you’re an anti-vaxxer misogynist and outright deceiver. But thank you for supporting the obvious conclusion that a lot of the convoy occupation of Ottawa was about abortion.

      Canadians are able to connect the dots but I thank you for making it slightly easier for us.

    5. I call BS to your assertion.
      Yer just trollin!
      You’d be the first to fall to your knees to kiss the hem of tRump or Skippy if they were in front of you.
      Go away!

    6. You all want it one way, but not the other. My body my choice, shut the hell up already about the damn mandates. We get it, you can only think about one thing at a time, the grown ups are talking now.

      Stop trying to make every single thing about your pet issue.

  12. Once upon a time, Canadian politicians feared the abortion issue so much they played it safe by doing nothing—including turning a blind eye to that brave, pesky Holocaust survivor Dr Henry Morgentaler who dared authorities, province after province, to prosecute his abortion clinics. His activism was empowered by democratic weight of the unelected kind as women and men across the land stood up and were counted. And when politicians were quite sure they wouldn’t be punished at the polls (that is, were able to blame legalization on the courts or the Charter), they got all in with a woman’s right to choose what goes on in her own body.

    But because there are still holdouts, that fear’s still there: Conservatives acknowledge women’s rights, hand over their hearts, while juggling reassurances for pro-life voters, confiding secretly that they don’t really believe those rights should extend so far into the unmentionable nether regions of the “weaker sex.” But today’s nominal conservative parties have become so adept at gaming the system, they even get away with it among their own supporters. Or at least they try.

    Harper made nice with Western SoCons, he an ice cold neoliberal in evangelical disguise cleverly duping anti-abortionists’ support when his party’s first two governments were only minorities: ‘Put a sock in SoConzo eruptions,’ he advised his religious-right MPs as he arrayed them along the backbenches as if secret weapons to be deployed at the most propitious time,” because we can’t win a majority otherwise.” And so pro-life lake-of-firebrands obediently accepted the bargain, self-assuring that, although skating on the thinnest ice of democratic principle (four-fifths of Canadians approve of legal abortion), they were standing ready for a higher cause. When the HarperCons finally did win a majority, the God Squad was stoked to burst from their back-alley benches with rusty-coat-hanger guns a-blazing—until, that is, the steely-eyed one slammed the pro-life door shut in their mugs with a sharp, metallic clank: ‘We shall not be addressing abortion, period,’ doing democratic perfidy to his own as they would have done to others, if only he’d he kept the promise they thought he made to them, and for which they’d awaited so patiently, risking their souls the the House of common ill-repute. One particularly pious CPC MP up and sat as an Independent, he was so chagrined. Oh well, play with games and you’re bound to get gamed, I guess.

    The Canadian neo-right now prays pro-lifers won’t rescind the gold stars anti-abortion orgs have awarded to them, supposed deliverers of blithe promises to stand up for the rights of the unborn. But, really, alls they’ve ever got done was to pry on arcane legal interpretations —like making homicide charges possible if a fetus is grievously injured when cher mother is involved with a motor vehicle accident (as far as I can recall, this has never been tested in court).

    Not to lose faith, the pious accept this thin gruel as they do the adage that the Lord works in mysterious ways—as He might with respect the burning bush of bitumen market prices or the golden calf of axe-wielding pipeline protesters. Thus it will be very interesting to see how the CPC leadership race will play this great game. Probably with as much charlatanism as Reform politicians have for these many years since Morgenthaler divided the sea of political chicken-shittedness—especially now, in light of the US Supreme Court’s leaked first-draft decision to, provisionally, strike down Roe vs Wade and allow individual states to decide if abortion will be legal or not in their own jurisdictions. Suppose the gulled will be encouraged we shall get the same in Canada.

    We will be reminded, I dare say, by both pro-choice and pro-life political factions —especially elected ones—, that although the religious positions on the right might be similar, much else is quite different between Canada and the USA. For starters, Canada has robust federal healthcare legislation which will not suffer any provincial backsliding. Indeed, the Lib-Dipper government is about to legislate financially painful consequences for provinces which do not provide enough access to safe, legal abortions (which is sure to stoke Jason Kenney’s anti-federal-transfer crusade: ‘don’t wanna play the game? Well, hey, you don’t have to take the money, Jason…’). The USA has nothing like that.

    But the prospect of the SCOTUS draft becoming final does affect Canada, so it will be fascinating to watch conservatives respond to calls for increased abortion facility, here, in order to meet the expected influx of American women who can’t get the medical help they should be entitled to in their own country. (Conversely, Canadian women in the poorly serviced Atlantic Canada who would seek abortions in the USA might be frustrated if RvW is overturned.)

    The half-century-old Roe vs Wade has become so acculturated in the USA, its repeal might result in increasing numbers of Americans who, after all the shit’s goin’ down down south last few years, have had enough and would like to emigrate to Canada—an interesting window into the likely befuddlement our own neo-rightists might sniff around their often odious notions about immigration. But whatever the ramifications are for Canada, I don’t expect access to safe abortions to be impeded in anyway by the SCOTUS draft decision— except in the games conservatives’ play in their dreams. And that, of course, will likely inform some veeeeery interesting rhetoric from the far right field. How far? Well, I saw bikers actually attending church in Ottawa after riding one a them goofy protests across Canada to the Capital. When’s the last time anybody seen that, eh?

    No matter how safe we are here in Canada, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on PET’s “elephant” south of the border, if only to anticipate what craziness our own neo-right will emulate from the beast. Like, would K-Boy insinuate Alberta independence if there wasn’t already the American Redoubt movement just south of Alberta’s border? —even if the contexts are almost totally incomparable? Secessionist talk is kinda ‘meh’ here in the Great White North, but it’s been serious business in the USA since no later than 1776.

    It’s not just the Roe vs Wade thing which underscores regional disintegration of the American federation. It’s that it adds to, and/or overlaps with other segregations we’ve seen lately, much more recent ones than the Revolutionary, Mexican, Seminole, Pig, Civil, and Spanish Wars (The War of 1812, a draw, territorially speaking, not included).

    Those are regional episodes which are indelibly etched onto the map of North America and the very sole of the USA. The impact of overturning RvW will overlap with, for example, the legislation of voter suppression bills in so-called “Red ( Republican) States.” But we’ve also seen dozens of states—not necessarily coinciding with the growing Red-Blue dichotomy—buck the federal prohibition of marijuana which played such a big part in imprisoning mostly black citizens in a country with the highest incarceration rate in the world. Again, Covid—or, more precisely, presidunce tRump’s refusal to coordinate national response—immediately inspired a number of states to group into Covid-response blocs in order to secure scarce medical supplies and at least not compete against each other to procure them. There’s strong correlation of these segregations and partisanship. Some states have also grouped up in order to file class-action lawsuits against pharmaceutical opioid manufactures which, the plaintiffs claim, neglected to ensure their wholesale didn’t end up retail on the streets of small cities and towns across the rural heartland of the nation. And there are the overt aspirants to secession of some kind—like “Greater Idaho,” the Montana-Idaho-East Oregon “Redoubt,” “Alaska” (where Sarah Palin’s husband was a card-carrying secessionist until she switched from governor to the GOP’s VP ticket), and “Cascadia.” (Every combination of the would-be Cascadia includes BC which, ironically, is the only jurisdiction which has a legal route to secession from Canada: since the Civil War —which killed more Americans than all of their other wars combined—, there is no constituted mechanism for American states to secede from the federation.)

    Given that a confederated state is strategically and economically stronger than the sum of its confederated parts, the underscoring of this growing US regionalism in various ways, old and new—especially when they are so diametrically opposed to each other—,I think indicates a weakening of the world hegemon—certainly for the regions espousing low-info, far-right, evangelical whackoism of late (another irony within an irony since adherents envision making America “great again”). That has to be of concern to Canada and, naturally, the entire world, yet it makes whatever lunacy Canadian neo-rightists copy from the teetering GOP look, given their throes, look fairly nonthreatening.

    At least so I hope.

  13. Edmonton Journal, June 9, 1995
    “Women who become pregnant through rape or incest should not qualify for government funded abortions unless their pregnancy is life threatening.”
    Alberta Labour Minister Stockwell Day

    1. Which is a crazy quote from stock because Nazis like him used to be all for abortion as eugenics before they realized family planning is a hand up to the wretched of the earth.

  14. What would this issue be like if men and women could get pregnant? Not that kenney would ever get pregnant, there would have to be another human on earth that would actually sleep with the guy. The odds are like a googol to one.

  15. Judging by the deep divides in the US over this issue, the potential for trouble leading into the midterm elections is very high. I’d say that the likelihood of violence occurring is expected. No one will be surprised if there is another mass-shooting at, maybe, a polling place.

    The anger is real and it will spill into the Canadian discourse soon if not already. An attempt by the BQ for a vote of the House to affirm women’s access to abortion services was shouted down with a chorus of “NO!” from the CPC benches. It looks like that they are so scared of revealing their fetish for the GOP, any effort to bait their pro-life cred to come out will result in howls.

    Of course, the various Canadian pro-life spokespersons are hailing the SCOTUS’ likely reversal of Roe v. Wade as good news for their cause in Canada. Some of these spokespeople have have mentioned that abortion is the “sacrament” that liberals crave. So, those who affirm women’s reproduction freedom are flesh-eaters and blood-drinkers? Very nice but the Catholics beat everyone to it.

  16. “who gets elected matters”
    It matters with a vengeance.

    This discussion is about one single topic but the general topic is freedom from arbitrary encumbrances of the state. These clowns want to punish women, in particular, but also anyone else who gets in their way, in general. And they will lie, cheat and steal to get their way.

    This is the operating strategy of the so-called ‘Conservatives’. In the very act of naming themselves they lie and cheat. Today, there is no such thing as a conservative political movement – anywhere!
    They are all radical, fundamental ideologues. Much like the Taliban and ISIS. Only the Muslim nutjobs are more honest than these faux Christians and weirdly, therefore, more moral and ethical.

    The so-called Conservatives, of any stripe, everywhere, to a person, have no concern for other citizens who do not agree with them, nor any compassion, let alone understanding, They certainly have no care for economic, fiscal or legal institutions that benefit society in general.
    They are cowards. They are ignorant. They hide from the truth and will support any bully for their own ends.
    A person who has a conservative tendency to see the world and to solving problems would have nothing to do with these fools and grifters.

    Make no mistake; the UCP and CPC will not take care of you. Or the Country or the Province. They are all in it for personal aggrandizement. Only!
    It’s a club. With club rules for club members.
    Problem is, this club wants to control everyone and everything.
    Like the Taliban and ISIS.

  17. Though it would never happen, perhaps we need to impose ‘controls’ to both contributors to a pregnancy. If men were required to wear a chastity belt of some kind for the duration of an unwanted but forced pregnancy and required to accept the infant from birth if the mother agreed and to assume all responsibility for that new individuals well being then perhaps abortion would not keep rising up as a cloaked means of controlling and limiting women’s involvement in the man’s world. Until men stop sexually hurting women at a rate where more of us reach adult hood already scarred by men’s violence against us than there are girls who become women without such trauma then any discussion of limiting reproductive health options for females is absurd and absolutely wrong.
    Thanks for such an informative read. Some of your commentors are also excellent writers with valid opinions.

  18. Great column.
    Just a quick note to say Jeremy Patzer, Cypress Hills-Grasslands is in Saskatchewan.

    1. Alison: Embarrassing. I’ll fix this and revise my percentage calculation after lunch. DJC

  19. I used to work at restaurant on Whyte Ave, and encountered people from the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reforms* on several occasions holding gigantic signs with gigantic colour pictures of dead fetuses. One day, they were there on Canada Day. Everyone else is trying to enjoy the parade and pretend Canada is a country, and these yahoos were trolling in the background. smh If you google these folks, the top link takes you to this picture, no lie. Notice that every single one of those people is white. I checked all of their pages, 100-200 people, one black man who appeared in two different pictures, one black woman seen from behind, on possibly nonwhite woman seen from behind. Where else could you go in Canada to find a couple hundred-ish people that white? Even Police have more diversity! Every anti-abortionist activist I’ve ever met in person was white (which is several dozen, not a conclusive sample size but indicative).

    Maybe this is less about them caring about fetuses that they will immediately stop caring about as soon as they are born, and more about keeping anyone who isn’t a mediocre white man out of power? Obviously there are women involved too, but they pretty obviously are working against the interests of women as a whole. Given that they are claiming that life begins at conception (we know that sperm are alive, which seems to indicate life began before conception. Google it, it’s easily verified. You were a sperm before you were a fetus, just as we are women before some of us become men) perhaps we can at least say the mediocrity principle is still in effect. I mean, if you’re going to create and enforce institutions that reward people for being white, you’ll need a way to filter out the non-mediocre and the non-male. This is also one of those things that will hurt non-white people more than white people.

    Also noteworthy – their website contains a “taking action” heading with links for internship, crash courses, boot camp, and more. Know your enemy. Know also that there are wealthy, privileged people spending lots of time, money and energy trying to use Conservative political parties to advance their agendas. This absolutely can happen in Canada.

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