Friday, June 01, 2012

A $6 million slap on the wrist for Mr. Trost?

[Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On Oct 8, 2011] The Conservative government has decided to give the International Planned Parenthood Federation $ 6 million to fund "sex education and contraception in five developing countries", the CBC is reporting. The funding proposal had sat on the desk of cabinet minister Bev Oda for a year, and was recently approved after being tweaked and re-submitted. Bene D reported on this earlier this year. I noted this in passing shortly after the election. What happened during the election, may make this current news very interesting. The CBC story connects the dots. It reminds us that during the election, Saskatchewan MP Brad Trost made a bit of a fuss when he told his provincial pro-life group that the Tories had decided not to give Planned Parenthood the money due to lobbying by various pro-life MPs. The resulting media attention to Trost's remarks caused Stephen Harper to adamantly state that despite efforts of pro-life MPs such as Trost, voters needed to be reassured that the abortion issue was closed, as far as he was concerned. My local tabloid headlined the story on his remarks "No no, never, says Harper". The CBC story notes that the federal government grant explicitly does not go to funding of abortion services. Pro-lifers such as Faytene Grasseschi, who has posted a video urging voters to lobby against the Planned Parenthood grant, could perhaps argue in the future that the Canadian grant could free up resources that would otherwise pray for contraception to provide abortions instead. The former Faytene Kryskow is seeking to argue that the grant is undemocratic, as it is against the will of Tory MPs. I don't know about this, as perhaps the new, curent caucus had no problem with the grant as currently set up. Perhaps the old or new MPs had never formally discussed it, and any opposition was merely informally passed in during conversations in hallways on the Hill, in which case, the grant would not flout Parliamentary conventions. Is this as a possible rebuke of Brad Trost for arguing that pro-life MPs were influential, at an inconvenient time, by Tory power brokers? Brad Trost won't be talking about that possibility, or other pro-life topics, for the next little while, I expect.