Justin Trudeau doesn't like what has happened to Canada.
The Canada he knew has changed. Stephen Harper has changed it.
Harper said there was no way he was going to reopen the abortion debate.
The issue was settled in 1988. But every few weeks, another one of Harper’s religious right followers raises the abortion question.
The last one is Stephen Woodworth of Kitchener and he wants to set up a parliamentary committee to establish at what stage of pregnancy human life begins. Technically, Harper’s right. It’s human life, not abortion.
But we all know where Woodworth is going. He’s a lawyer, a member of the religious right, not a clinical academic.
Harper says he won’t re-open the death penalty debate. The last hanging was in 1957. But his senator, Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu wants to pass out hanging ropes to jailed murders. It isn’t for them to play tug-o’-warn with their cell mate. Harper is technically right once again. It isn’t capital punishment; it’s encouraging suicide.
The old-time Reformers in Harper’s party are often slamming homosexuals. Harper says he won’t re-open the gay rights issue, but he sends a government lawyer to Toronto try to prevent two married lesbians from getting divorced. If they can’t divorce, others might be less keen to get married in the first place.
The final straw. Harper promises on the head of his mother never to reduce Old Age Security. So what does he do? He doesn’t reduce payments, but we discover he is planning delaying the age of eligibility from the current 65 years of age to 67 years of age. No reductions, just a delay. Not the same thing.
Abortion, homosexuality, Old Age Security. Trudeau looks at all this and blows his top. Harper’s Canada is not his Canada.
His frustration is understandable. But what did he think? It’s Harper who’s running things. He won the election.
Trudeau blows up and tells Franco Nuovo at Radio-Canada that if things keep going the way they are, he’s going to start thinking about Quebec becoming its own country.
Wow! English-Canada jumps all over him. Right-wing open line radio shows clobber him and burn up the airwaves:
“ Justin Trudeau, you betrayed your country, your father, your liberal party.”
Trudeau cringes and backs off.
But surprise! The public opinion polls show Quebec is with Trudeau on this one. They agree: Harper’s Canada is not Quebec’s Canada.
They don’t recognize Canada any more. That’s why they voted overwhelmingly for Jack Layton on May 2.
The Bloc Québécois are thrilled. The one Quebec politician they hate most is at least willing to give them a passing thought.
Bloc Québécois MP Maria Mourani shouts: “Come-on over Justin! We’ve got a seat for you.”
Liberal leader Bob Rae tries to calm things down: “Justin Trudeau is my Valentine.”