This was the status quo on election night, because with the exception of a few minor seat changes, Canada’s new Parliament will reflect what it replaced.
The September 20 election results are almost exactly the same as the 2019 election, when Justin Trudeau’s majority was reduced to a minority. At the time of going to press, while some votes were still counted, the Liberals had won 158 seats, the Conservatives 119, the Bloc Québécois 34, the NDP 25 and the Greens two.
Despite this, Trudeau said the result was a “clear mandate” for his government going forward.
“What we have seen tonight is that millions of Canadians have chosen a progressive plan,” Trudeau said in his victory speech.
“Some have talked about division, but that’s not what I see,” Trudeau said. “I see Canadians standing together. Together, in your determination to end this pandemic. Together for real climate action, for $ 10 a day child care, for affordable homes for middle class families. For our common journey on the path of reconciliation.
An important topic for Catholics and other believers was missing from Trudeau’s victory speech – and much of the election campaign: religious freedom.
Trudeau is not alone in this case. Each party has abdicated its responsibility to protect the rights of all Canadians by adhering to the view that a law – Quebec’s Bill 21 – that prohibits the wearing of religious symbols in Quebec by public servants is not the case. nobody’s business, except for the province of Quebec.
The so-called Quebec law on secularism, Bill 21, which was passed in 2019, has barely been discussed during most of the federal election campaign, except for a question posed to the leader of the Bloc Quebecois Yves-François Blanchet by the moderator of the debate of the English leaders of September 11. 9. This caused a firestorm in Quebec when the tone of the question drew criticism that the question was an anti-francophone attack on Quebec. Not only did Blanchet and Quebec Premier François Legault say this, but Trudeau, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh also echoed this point of view.
If Canada’s federal party leaders don’t vote against Bill 21 in a federal election, then when will they ever stand up for religious freedom, asked former head of Canada’s religious freedom bureau .
“Religious freedom is not just any freedom,” said Andrew Bennett, program director for Religious Freedom and Faith Community Engagement at faith-based think tank Cardus. “It is one of the fundamental freedoms.
Bennett, who was Canada’s Ambassador for Religious Freedom when he headed the Office of Short-Term Religious Freedom established by Stephen Harper’s Conservative government in 2013 (it was dissolved by the Liberals in 2016), has said all mainstream political parties were afraid to speak out against the bill because they feared damaging their electoral chances in Quebec.
“It’s pretty clear that what’s happening only concerns the votes in Quebec,” Bennett said.
” It’s a matter of principle. If we can’t stand up for religious freedom in this case, then when will we? “
It’s no surprise that this is the status quo on abortion and other pro-life issues. For Catholics, the result means a government that, during its six years in power, virtually eliminated all pro-life voices in the party and pushed forward the expansion of physician-assisted dying.
Campaign Life Coalition said it “is disappointed, but not surprised, by the re-election of a minority Liberal government.”
“Trudeau’s Liberals are the party that defends death and will continue to be a government that silences pro-life views for the foreseeable future,” Campaign Life President Jeff Gunnarson said.
But while the federal Liberals’ positions on pro-life issues are at odds with Church teaching, O’Toole has also positioned the Conservatives as a pro-choice party and pledged to support rights to existing abortions in Canada.
Campaign Life said the election was a missed opportunity by O’Toole “whose attempt to lead the party to the left backfired.”
A number of candidates who defended the fight against physician-assisted dying were also defeated. British Columbia curator Tamara Jansen lost her Cloverdale-Langley City seat in a close race, as did Port Moody-Coquitlam curator Nelly Shin.
“Much remains to be seen regarding the consequences of this election,” said Nicole Scheidl, Executive Director of Canadian Physicians for Life.
“But one thing is clear: politics follows culture and it’s up to us to influence culture in a more life-giving direction.”
Canadian Catholic News.
More election commentary from local experts and observers to come in Catholic British Columbia. –Editor.