You’d think they would find a less menacing way to behave. Instead, it’s like a shadowy cabal that seeks to lurk in the dark corners of the Hill, pulling strings and making secret deals.
Or at least, that’s what they’d like some people to think.
The “secretive Pro-Life Parliamentary caucus” has a new leader, and his name is Rod Bruinooge, a Winnipeg-area MP in the Conservative caucus. Oh, and he wants you to know that he’s ready to re-open the abortion debate at any time.
Bruinooge is an MP on his second term, and in the last Parliament, he served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, and he served on the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development committee.
In his interview with The Canadian Press, Bruinooge gave an illustrative example of his position by saying that a person’s kidney has more rights than a foetus. Which I suspect wouldn’t exactly be the case in an actual courtroom, but that’s beside the point.
What Bruinooge is going to be looking to exploit in the next session, should it actually last more than a handful of days, is for the Conservatives to re-introduce a bill that would add legal rights to a foetus by declaring that it is to be a legally-enshrined mitigating factor in the sentencing of those who commit violence against a pregnant woman. While the Conservative government will swear up and down that it’s not about abortion at all, Bruinooge’s secret crew – most of whom are Conservatives, though they do claim to have members from all parties – are going to nevertheless seize upon it and use it to further their own agenda.
It’s coming up on twenty years since the Supreme Court of Canada decriminalised abortion in this country. But unless the people up on the Hill right now are vigilant, it will only take one shadowy bunch of jackals to turn back the clock.
Say what you will about Stéphane Dion, women were one of his priorities for his party and the country, and it’s one that Ignatieff has recognised and has said he hopes to continue championing. Let’s hope this is one place where he’ll pick up the slack.