While the 2000 delegates at this weekend’s Conservative Convention in Winnipeg voted on numerous resolutions relating to the party’s future, commentators say that the passing of Resolutions P-207 and P-203 in particular indicate that social conservatism is still alive among many delegates of the in-power party.P-203, which was passed by well over 90% of the delegates, is a resolution to remove authority from the Canadian Human Rights Commission and Tribunal to regulate, receive, investigate or adjudicate complaints related to Section 13 (hate messages) of the Canadian Human Rights Act. Critics of this section of the Act have long said that the clause creates the precise equivalent of a “thought crime.” Under this section of the Act, Christian ministers have been prosecuted simply for defending traditional Christian teaching on marriage.
Prominent Human Rights Commission critic Ezra Levant said he was “delighted” with the vote. The message is clear, said Levant: “the party’s grass-tops activists … support freedom of speech and thought, and now see the Canadian Human Rights Commission for what it is: a violator of rights, not a protector of them.”
Resolution P-207 is similar to former Conservative MP Ken Epp’s Unborn Victims of Crime Bill in that it seeks additional charges for anyone who harms or kills an unborn baby while attacking a pregnant mother. While P-207 is not binding, it is now official Conservative Party policy to recognize the rights of pregnant women by bringing to justice those who harm an unborn baby against their mother’s will.
According to Canada.com, a delegate from the riding in Saskatchewan that proposed the resolution said, “Families who have lost their daughters, wives, sisters … know there are two victims. They want the law to recognize that.”
Although the resolution does indicate a pro-life sentiment among Canadian Conservatives, in an interview with LifeSiteNews.com, John Hoff, President of Campaign Life Coalition B.C., reminded pro-life activists to take this resolution for what it really is – one seeking to protect pregnant women and not unborn babies.
“As the President of Campaign Life Coalition of B.C., P-207 is not a resolution I would propose to protect unborn children. As much as I stand up for the lives of pregnant women, this resolution doesn’t do anything for unborn children,” said Hoff.
Hoff said the resolution is one which he wholeheartedly supports and that it is a great step forward in protecting pregnant women. However, he indicated that pro-life supporters should keep their feet on the ground.
“I don’t want pro-lifers to get excited about this because this simple resolution doesn’t make the Conservative party pro-life. It recognizes that women who are pregnant and are harmed or killed will receive more justice,” he said. “If this resolution becomes a bill in the House of Commons I would expect every party to support this, it is common sense.”
“Who could possible be in favor of violence against pregnant women?”
Behind resolution P-207 is a lengthy history, largely surrounding Epp’s Unborn Victims of Crime Bill, which sought to make it a separate crime to kill or injure an unborn child in an attack on its mother. Epp’s bill, which had passed first and second reading in the House of Commons, was effectively scuppered by the Conservative Party this fall, largely in response to criticism from pro-abortion activists that the bill would “reopen the abortion debate” by giving rights to unborn children.
The Conservative Party in August pulled the rug out from under Epp’s feet when it introduced its own, watered-down version of the bill. Critics of the Conservative bill say that it adds little to current criminal law and fails to recognize the unborn child as a separate victim of violent crime.
Following the vote on P-207 Justice Minister Rob Nicholson reaffirmed Prime-Minister Stephen Harpers’ commitment not to re-open the abortion debate.
“The prime minister has indicated on a number of occasions that he will not reopen the (abortion) issue. But in terms of protecting pregnant women against violence, we are prepared to make changes to the Criminal Code,” said Nicholson.
Nicholson indicated that the Conservative government would continue to move forward with its own version of Epp’s bill.
See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Conservative MP Epp Will Not Scrap Unborn Victims Bill
Conservative Party of Canada Kills Unborn Victims of Crime Act with Gutless Alternative
Canada’s Abortion Militants Reiterate Condemnation of Unborn Victims of Crime Bill
Pro-Abortion Liberal Introduces Bill to Counter Unborn Victims of Crime Bill