Tories and the Grave New World

A nation that kills its own children has no future.  St. John Paul II

In 2008, the late Father Alphonse deValk, founding editor of Catholic Insight, wrote an important editorial that diagnosed Canada’s deepening moral malaise and strongly criticized Prime Minister Stephen Harper for refusing to reopen a national debate on abortion.

He began by quoting a summary of Canada’s general situation issued as an Open Letter just before the election of January 23, 2006, by the Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF), an association of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.

“At this time in the history of Canada, a realistic look at society reveals a fundamental problem – the loss of respect for human life and dignity, evident in so many ways:
* the legal void that permits abortion right up to birth;
* medical research authorizing the destruction of embryos;
* a mentality that increasingly favours euthanasia and assisted suicide;
* the gratuitous violence in our schoolyards;
* abuse of women and children;
* the violent deaths of young men;
* the silence that surrounds so many situations of poverty;
* the widespread incidence of prostitution, pornography and drugs.”

The COLF letter also noted that the family is under constant attack, intensified further by Canada’s anti-religious secularism and by the Liberal government’s June 2005 redefinition of marriage and by the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s unprecedented attack on freedom of religion and conscience by ordering the College of Physicians and Surgeons to extinguish the rights of medical doctors to follow their own conscience in judging the needs of their patients.

“We are witnessing an obvious effort by some in society who wish to relegate religion to the private lives of citizens,” he wrote. “This aggressive secular ideology refuses religion the right to exist in the public square. In the name of pluralism and secularity, then, there is a desire to exclude from public dialogue those who promote religious values, even when these can be defended by human reason and experience.”

In Father deValk’s view, Canadian politicians were instrumental in allowing – even promoting – all this while at the same time having within their grasp the power to reverse the metastisizing culture of death in Canada.

Harper in the Crosshairs

Which is why Father deValk’s criticism of Stephen Harper was so prescient as well. “The legalized killing of infants in the womb remains the overall most important moral crisis for Canada,” he wrote. “Its deadly social consequences are now upon us. It is shameful that Prime Minister Harper once more distanced himself from this issue before calling the election.”

Yet political pundits and voters alike understood Harper’s conviction that to wade deep into the abortion issue would result in his being targeted even further by a leftist Canadian media convinced of its own moral superiority and of abortion as a ‘human right’.

That didn’t deter Father deValk, however. Not one bit. Equally confident of the deeper Christian moral view of life and its basis in the natural law – which until relatively recently had been held by Canadians from sea-to-sea-to-sea – he laid out the Christian terms which qualified or disqualified a candidate for office. “The first principle in voting is that to be pro-abortion disqualifies a candidate from office. He/she is simply unsuited to hold office. Their thinking is awry. Because of this opinion, they get everything important wrong as well.”

Think hard about that last sentence. This is a profound observation, one which explains why Canada has gotten so much else wrong as well, leaving the nation in the wretched and worsening condition it’s in today as its politicians continue pretending there is no God (or if there is a God, it’s a private matter), that there is no real power but their own and that only good can come from their delusional ‘good’ intentions and policies.

Delusional Thinking

The results of such delusional thinking have been horrific. Twelve years on, Canada is on track to become the ‘worst’ suicide jurisdiction in the world, according to euthanasia expert, Dr. Alex Schadenberg.

Legalized in Canada in 2016 by Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party with Bill C-14, its new euthanasia expansion Bill C-7 was introduced in February, prompting Schadenberg to warn during this year’s virtual National March for Life that the bill needs to be stopped. “Bill C-7 is really bad,” Schadenberg told an interviewer. “It’s really, really crazy. If it’s passed, it would make us (Canada) the worst jurisdiction in the world, and it needs to be stopped.”

Bill C-7 is the result of Trudeau’s embrace of a Quebec court decision last September that struck down the requirement that a person’s “natural death be reasonably foreseeable” in order to qualify the person for death by lethal injection. The new bill, says Schadenberg, will further expand Canada’s euthanasia laws to permit the lethal injection of individuals unable to properly consent. Such as those with dementia and who have issued an advance directive asking to be euthanized in the future.

Schadenberg’s comments came on the eve of the 51st anniversary of the legalization of abortion in Canada in 1969 by Justin Trudeau’s father, Pierre, as part of an omnibus bill amending the Criminal Code to allow abortions to be done in hospitals. Nineteen years later, that law was struck down by the Supreme Court of Canada as unconstitutional. Known as the 1988 Morgentaler Decision, the court encouraged Parliament to draft replacement legislation. But that too failed under then–prime minister Brian Mulroney in a Senate tie vote, leaving Canada with no abortion law ever since, allowing abortion through all nine months of pregnancy.

Bottom line: abortion has been legal in Canada for more than half a century and euthanasia for four years. Yet few Canadians seem bothered. Just as they’re not bothered – except for those Christian ‘bigots’ over Bill C-8, that totalitarian legislation proposed by Trudeau’s Liberals to criminalize “conversion therapy”, a pejorative term designed to stigmatize clinical therapy and spiritual counselling for homosexuals and transgenders wishing to overcome unwanted sexual identity confusion or same-sex attraction.

From Democracy to Dictatorship

Nor do Canadians seem bothered by the Trudeau government’s insistence that any businesses seeking financial aid during the current pandemic must conform to Liberal ‘values’. Which means Trudeau is blackmailing struggling small businesses into signing an attestation before they can qualify for emergency financial aid. This is all part of the newly launched Canada Emergency Business Account, a government COVID-19 relief program administered by banks in cooperation with Export Development Canada (EDC) that allows businesses to qualify for an interest-free loan of up to $40,000, of which $10,000 may be eligible for loan forgiveness.

To qualify for the government backed bank loan, the struggling applicant businesses must profess they do not promote violence, incite hatred or discriminate on the basis of sex, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, region, education, age or mental or physical disability. Which is code for the Liberals’ ever evolving definition of ‘values’ that comport with Justin Trudeau’s progressive notions which invariably include the acceptance, even the promotion, of abortion, euthanasia and legalized recreational drug use as well.

There’s more. Businesses which do not fight climate change won’t get any money either, confirming Lenin’s dictum: “There are no morals in politics; there is only expedience.”

Fifty Years of Progressivism

How did we get here? By tolerating all kinds of immorality promoted by progressive politicians and activists alike in the name of freedom which, in the name of freedom, is resulting in our gradual loss of freedom. And probably our country, as our self-forged manacles tighten.

And – as Father deValk noted – with every passing month, the consequences of accepting all the wrong things, Canada appears populated by Canadians who today seem indifferent, even oblivious, to the resulting holocaust of abortion and euthanasia. And even to life itself, their hearts hardened, even deadened, to the crumbling of their own country which is no longer based on a strong, coherent and cohesive morality, but on fatuous Leftist platitudes masking as worthy ‘values’. Thus the glue that once held this once great country together is fast dissolving – to the point that in the name of destructive ideologies including ‘climatism’, Canada’s once burgeoning prosperity is fast disappearing, premiers are squabbling and police services are increasingly thwarted while businesses both large and small flee the country for better prospects elsewhere, foreign investment drains away and not even a pipeline can be built to bring Canadian oil to market.

Canadians’ Growing Indifference

Again, Canadians have developed a curious indifference to it all, as if paralyzed by their own sense of powerlessness, all the while professing loudly their belief in smarmy platitudes. Rather than a belief in the only truth and power strong enough to bear the weight and needs of an entire country – God. Not Man who, when left to his own avails, becomes a lawless tyrant who hates God because he hates His laws and then enslaves his miserable people into conforming.

So why, in such a vacuous, self-absorbed climate should anyone be surprised that three months into the current COVID-19 pandemic, Canada has the worst record statistically and proportionately of nursing home deaths anywhere – comprising 80% of deaths across Canada – and indicating that euthanasia isn’t simply an act, it’s a mentality that’s gradually poisoned our medical systems and the nation’s attitudes.

What a disgrace, one which should cause the average Canadian – who’s still convinced that ‘greatness and caring’ are hallmarks of this country – to feel deeply ashamed that of 14 nations tracked for care home deaths, Canada ranked 14 out of 14.

Yet our politicians continue down the road Father deValk warned about – the road wherein wrongs are called ‘rights’. And the outcome has not only been predictable, it’s been inexorable. Morally, physically and financially. Just as Pope John Paul II warned: “A nation that kills its own children has no future.”

And this truth is being confirmed in every aspect of Canadian life.

Why? Because this is the eternal natural law at work which no ruler nor politician has the power to repeal. Yet our rulers and politicians for the most part continue to behave as if they had power over the natural law simply by making promises they cannot keep and by passing legislation that will exact a hideous price.

Conservative Party of Canada Today

Which is what brings me to the state of the Conservative Party of Canada which is in disarray. Having disgraced itself most recently with the shabby treatment of its leader, Andrew Scheer, who by ignoring his own socially conservative views and choosing to follow the wrong-headed directives of his politically-correct handlers, went on to win 26 more seats for the party. But that wasn’t good enough! The party failed to unseat Justin Trudeau’s Liberals who, to date, have had a free hand in the dismantling of Canada like Lego bricks.

And to do so at precisely the time when – after kicking the can down the road for decades in an effort to avoid the mounting consequences of its secularism, parasitic socialism and irresponsible spending – Canada has all but run out of road. Which this COVID crisis is now further exposing as Canada, having borrowed massive amounts of money it doesn’t have, and as countless businesses shut down and job losses soar, perches on the brink of financial collapse, while the media pretends everything is just fine.

It is not.

So once again it falls to the Tories to persuade Canadians that their party is the answer. So they trot out one candidate after another, almost all of who refuse to go there – that is, where the big moral questions have not been addressed for more than half a century – while filling the air of their ‘big tent’ with ever more banalities about the need for diversity, tolerance, compassion and ecological nonsense.

The Race So Far

May 15 was the deadline for registration for voting for the candidates who will compete against each other in August. This is when the party membership will select Scheer’s replacement from a list that now includes Peter MacKay, Erin O’Toole, Leslyn Lewis, a single mother of two whose rhetoric runs centrist, and Derek Sloan who has called out Trudeau, the UN and the World Health Organization, and refused to bend to the media mob who targeted him for abuse. Then there’s Jim Karaholios, whose struggles with the party for inclusion in their roster of candidates epitomizes what’s long been wrong with the party.

In addition, the May 15 deadline came during this COVID-19 pandemic which has meant no leadership candidate has been able to campaign in person since March and there has been no single debate involving the candidates, leaving them to get their messages out via Zoom teleconferences, social media and emails in the contest to replace Scheer in a mail-in ballot set for August 21.

The Candidates

Peter MacKay is a former minister of justice, foreign affairs and national defence in Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s cabinet, Nova Scotia MP from 1997 to 2015 and the last leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada.

Erin O’Toole is former minister of veterans affairs, MP for the Ontario riding of Durham since 2012 and third-place finisher in the 2017 Conservative leadership race.

Leslyn Lewis is a lawyer and unsuccessful Conservative candidate in the 2015 federal election in the Ontario riding of Scarborough–Rouge Park.

Derek Sloan has been MP for the Ontario riding of Hastings–Lennox and Addington since 2019.

Jim Karahalios, the potential ‘bombshell’ candidate, is the anti-carbon tax activist who’s been fighting what he’s called out as corruption and leadership contest rigging in the CPC. He is currently awaiting a court decision which may result in his inclusion as a candidate in this current leadership contest.

A Sea Change?

As for how the party’s prospects appear so far, it may be useful to note that in the 2017 leadership race won by Andrew Scheer, 260,000 members were eligible to vote but, according to the National Post, all current signs indicate that, in the history of the Conservative party leadership, more new members than ever have signed up, suggesting a strong national mood to dislodge Trudeau from the PMO.

Still, O’Toole and MacKay are considered the race’s front-runners in a contest that promises to be close race and may come down to multiple rounds on the ranked ballot before a winner is determined. Meanwhile, Leslyn Lewis is a new candidate with lots of support while Derek Sloan appears to be a strong socially conservative candidate with pro-life policies, unlike MacKay who’s strong on foreign policy but supports abortion as a ‘right’ while his current position on euthanasia remains unclear.

Ditto for Erin O’Toole who has avoided socially conservative issues on the campaign trail, except to say he would never re-open the abortion debate, and that he wants all conservatives – including social conservatives – to feel welcome in the party. He also voted in favour of Bill C-389, a previous NDP incarnation of the current gender identity/transgenderism bill, C-16, which he will not repeal. And though he hasn’t marched in Gay Pride, he said he would do so this year if the parade is held.

As for Karahalios, he promises to go ‘there’— meaning he would address socially conservative issues which all parties continue to avoid or reject, that is, the very Christian values which produced so many early Canadian saints and on which Canada’s social contract was established and on which its legal system has been historically based.

Unfortunately for Canada, however, with its original Cornerstone of Christianity long ago rejected and replaced by resolute secularism, the nation has been disintegrating spontaneously ever since. Which is also why – much as it’s been tried – no politician or activist shouting the usual banalities about ‘freedom’ and vehemently promoting abortion, euthanasia, sexual immorality, transgender rights, unisex washrooms et al as ‘human rights’ can possibly construct a new platform on which to rebuild this foundering nation. A nation Justin Trudeau has already consigned to the status of the world’s “first post-national state”.

This is why Father deValk was so right in scolding former prime minister Stephen Harper publicly all those years ago. And since then, things have only gotten worse, as he knew they would.

So unless there’s a sea-change in Conservative Party thinking and policy-making, the outcome of the next election will hardly matter. With Justin Trudeau having already bribed the media with taxpayer dollars to favour his party, if his Tory opponent upsets the apple-cart and dares to go there into the socially conservative weeds, he will find himself the object of still more Alinsky-style media attacks wherein he’s targeted, isolated and subjected to a torrent of hellish criticism. Just as Harper was attacked repeatedly and viciously by the socialist media which has for so long derived its destructive power from the secularist Culture of Death.

Yes, this all seems so bleak, doesn’t it? But anyone paying attention – as Father deValk did for so long – knew that this time had to come one day. A day when the country – having decades ago rejected Christ, its foundational strength, and then pursued its own false morality – has reached a critical turning point precisely at a time when all the provinces are losing their former prosperity and now appear alienated from each other and from their federal government. And at a time when there appears to be only one or two Tory candidates far-sighted enough, strong enough and brave enough to do what it would take to turn this nation around and return it to Life. Literally.

Is there a serious prime minister among them? One who can reverse Canada’s course?

If not – and it’s such a tired cliché, I know – Ottawa’s continuing on with business as usual while trying to clean up what National Post columnist John Ivison calls our ‘unholy’ debt mess – will be merely the rearranging of deck chairs on a bankrupt Titanic.