The march of the culture of death in Canada
Publisher: The Interim Publishing Company, 2017
Gwendolyn Landolt and Patrick Redmond’s newest book, PIERRE ELLIOTT TRUDEAU’S GREAT BETRAYAL is an amazing analysis of the introduction and legalization of abortion in Canada, along with the seminal book by Fr. Alpohnse de Valk’s titled, Morality and Law in Canadian Politics: The Abortion Controversy,
In Canada today, a child in the womb has no rights. A pre-born baby can be killed any time during pregnancy. There are no legal restrictions. A baby has to be born before it’s legally considered a person with rights. Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s Great Betrayal provides a detailed analysis of how the culture of death was legalized through the Liberal government’s Omnibus Bill of 1969 and the passage of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
As far back as 1841, even before Confederation, it was a crime to harm a baby in the womb. In 1892, abortion was included in the Canadian Criminal Code. The unborn baby had legal protection in the womb until 1969.
The Liberal government, led by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, passed the Criminal Law Amendment Act in 1969. It was called the Omnibus Bill because it contained many changes to the law including the introduction of abortion, state lotteries and contraception. In 1982, the government passed the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. However, the Charter contained no specific protection for the unborn, even though many Canadians had fought hard for such protection. Many feared that the courts would be used to push for fewer legal obstacles to abortion. And that is exactly what happened in 1988 with the Regina v Morgentaler case as the Supreme Court of Canada ruled to remove abortion provisions in the law.
The high court, however, did state that it was for Parliament to legislate protection for the child in the womb. Such a law would address the competing rights of the mother and those of the unborn child. But Parliament has failed again and again to introduce let alone talk about the issue. Why? Oh, it’s so divisive and politically contentious!
Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s Great Betrayal documents the struggle between those Canadians who sided with the Liberal government and those who made the case for legally defending the unborn. This battle continues in the present day because the culture of death has now spread to include legalized euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide. Bill C-14 which makes euthanasia legal, was passed by Pierre’s son Justin’s Trudeau’s Liberal government in June 2016.
One of the most interesting chapters in the book deals with the passage of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Many Catholics were sideswiped with the Canadian bishops’ response to the papal encyclical Humanae Vitae with the so-called Winnipeg Statement. The bishops essentially gave the green light to contraception by telling the faithful to follow their own consciences. Nevertheless, Canadians who wanted to see life protected from conception to natural death looked to the bishops for leadership and support.
As a result, there was much disappointment when Cardinal Carter, the Archbishop of Toronto, came out in support of the Canadian Charter. He must have believed the government’s line that the Charter would not increase the number of abortions…. even if there was no mention of protecting the unborn child in the document. Why did the Cardinal not oppose the Charter? Nobody knows for sure. However, some have argued that then Premier of Ontario, Bill Davis promised to fund Catholic schools to the end of high school if he, the Cardinal, agreed to support the Charter. Davis wanted the Charter to be approved.
Cardinal Carter’s decision made the battle by pro-life groups such as the Knights of Columbus and Campaign Life, that much harder. They wanted protection of the unborn to be part of the Charter. But the government could now say they had the support of the Church. Pierre Trudeau, with the backing of the Church, knew there was no need to deal with other groups. He could overlook their concerns. The government felt they had won the argument.
Landolt foresaw what was coming in Canada’s future and wrote many senators and MPs asking them to include protection for the unborn in the Charter. She said:
It would be deeply appreciated, therefore, if you would endeavour to take steps that are necessary to have section 15 amended so that this section will not be used by abortionists to widen access to abortion law as outlined in the memorandum. (Page 84)
In a press release in 1981, Landolt made it clear that without restrictions there would be many more abortions. She wrote, “Abortion on demand has been locked into the proposed Charter of Rights.” However, the Liberal government pushed ahead and refused to listen to Canadians who rejected the Liberal position. There was nothing Canadians could do. The Liberals were adamant about passing the Charter.
In 1975, a petition was presented in the House of Commons signed by 1,027,425 citizens! It was the efforts of a number of pro-life groups under the title, Alliance for Life. They wanted protection for the unborn child. The Prime Minister had received another similar petition in 1972 signed by 352,000, again requesting the protection of the unborn in law. But both petitions fell on deaf ears as the Charter was passed a few years later with no mention of the unborn or any protection for them. Since 1981, 100,000 pre-born babies have been killed each year in Canada. All of this has been paid for by our taxes…the Canadian healthcare system.
In 1980, the Liberal government proposed the Charter in an effort to strengthen the rights of every Canadian. The Charter, among other things, was supposed to guarantee freedom of thought, conscience, religion and the press. Furthermore, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and the security of the person and the right not to be deprived there of except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.” (Page 67) It’s turned out that the last nine words in that statement have legally given Canadians unrestricted abortion and opened wide the door to euthanasia.
Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s Great Betrayal is a sad Canadian history lesson tracing the events that have brought us the culture of death. The book belongs in the classroom so that students can learn the story and, we hope, begin to change the future for the better. The Liberal government argued that the Charter would not entitle Canadians to have abortion on demand. So, there was no need for an amendment to the Charter to protect the unborn. The Liberal government was wrong in 1982 when the Charter was passed, and wrong again in 1969 when they first legalized abortion with the Omnibus bill.
The Trudeau government misled Canadians by telling them that the abortion numbers would not expand. But they have increased. By legislating a culture of death, the Liberals have betrayed Canadians, but more importantly betrayed the over four million lives that have been intentionally killed through abortion and sacrificed on the altar of convenience. We recommend that you read PIERRE ELLIOT TRUDEAU’S GREAT BETRAYAL so that we do not repeat the errors of the past and begin in earnest to stop the culture of death.