Erin O’Toole is fending off a quintessential Liberal grift early in his leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada, with two government bills recently reintroduced in Parliament playing the McGuffin: one on conversion therapy (i.e., quackery designed to turn gay people straight), and the other on expanding access to assisted suicide.
“O’Toole must … find a way to fight the Liberals’ allegations — repeated again in the Commons Wednesday — that social conservatives are driving his party’s agenda,” Canadian Press reported this week. The story ran with headlines like “Free votes for Conservative MPs on assisted dying, conversion therapy ban: O’Toole.”
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In an alternate universe a few doors down, Trudeau has been taking heat for proroguing those bills to death in the first place, for no good reason anyone could detect in the Liberals’ “more of the same” throne speech. In that alternate universe, he will have been under sustained fire for passing the original assisted-dying legislation back in 2016, over the objections of many experts, advocates and MPs who said it was unconstitutionally strict. The free vote — shocking, no? — saw four Liberals, one of whom is now justice minister, vote against the bill for precisely that reason. Why, prime minister, did you only act when the Quebec Superior Court struck the law down?