Torontonians might recognize Brad Trost, the Conservative MP who just made abortion an election issue again

Torontonians might recognize Brad Trost, the Conservative MP who just made abortion an election issue again

It’s like clockwork: at some point during a federal election campaign, the Conservative party’s position social issues crop up, despite Stephen Harper’s valiant game of PR Whac-a-Mole. Today, the mole that finally got away from him was abortion. Saskatchewan MP Brad Trost was recorded telling a group of anti-choice voters that they were responsible for getting Planned Parenthood defunded by the Canadian government.

From the Toronto Star:

In the speech, a recording of which was obtained by the Liberals and given to the Toronto Star and Le Devoir, Trost claims a number of parliamentary victories for the pro-life movement, including a decision to deny funding for the International Planned Parenthood Federation.

Trost said he and “many” other MPs helped spearhead efforts to round up petitions “to defund Planned Parenthood.”

“Let me just tell you, and I cannot tell you specifically how we used it, but those petitions were very, very useful, and they were part of what we used to defund Planned Parenthood, because it has been absolute disgrace that that organization and several others like it have been receiving one penny of Canadian taxpayers’ dollars,” Trost said.

There’s a Toronto connection to this story, too—and not just because Toronto Liberal MPs like Dr. Carolyn Bennett and Michael Ignatieff are all over the story. Trost was the same Conservative MP who, a few years back, revealed that the Conservative caucus was deeply divided about Pride Toronto getting funding under the Marquee Tourism program. He also said that the LGBTQ festival would not get any more money from the feds (which it didn’t).

At a media event earlier this morning, Harper said that reopening the abortion debate was something his government would take no part in, and something he personally would ensure didn’t happen. While he’s busy not doing anything on that front, perhaps he could he reward Brad Trost with a cabinet position: Minister of State for Social Issue Missteps.

• Anti-abortion groups shaped Tory funding policy on Planned Parenthood [Toronto Star]