Conservative members to vote on abortion, euthanasia policy resolutions

They will not, however, be voting on whether to kill Canada’s system of supply management

Conservatives will be drawn into debates about abortion and assisted dying on the last day of the party’s convention in Halifax on Saturday, thanks to proposed policy changes put forward by grassroots party members.

They will not, however, be voting on whether to kill Canada’s system of supply management.

A series of breakout sessions was held on Friday, the second day of the three-day convention, to decide which policy resolutions would go to the full membership for a vote on Saturday.

One of the 74 resolutions debated aims to remove any reference to a future Conservative government regulating abortion.

Debate was extensive during Friday’s preliminary workshop, with a number of people arguing for and against the resolution as dozens more lined up outside the overcrowded room complaining they couldn’t get in to vote.

The resolution was brought to the floor by delegates from Newfoundland and Labrador, who said they want the party to be neutral on the topic of abortion. It ultimately passed with 82 per cent support, which means it will go to the full membership for a vote on Saturday.

Another resolution to have Conservative party oppose the extension of “euthanasia and assisted suicide” to minors, people with mental illness or “people who are not competent” also passed and will go to a wider vote.

But a resolution to have the party adopt a policy to end supply management of agricultural products did not make it to the floor for a vote, much to the chagrin of a group of delegates who tried several procedural tactics to force a vote on the issue.

Peter McCaffrey of Calgary had expressed fears earlier in the week that he wouldn’t have an opportunity to vote on the resolution with Quebec MP Maxime Bernier gone from the party.

Bernier was a vocal critic of supply management and openly criticized the party and leader Andrew Scheer for supporting it before his dramatic resignation from the party Thursday.

McCaffrey expressed his frustration with how events unfolded on Friday.

“They’ve just been running out the clock the entire afternoon, going as slow as possible, so we wouldn’t get to a supply management vote,” he said.

“I want to vote for good policy but I feel like they are pushing us out of the party by not allowing us to have votes on these issues.”

McCaffrey had previously said he didn’t want to follow Bernier out of the party, but after the supply management showdown he was less certain.

“I don’t know what to do now. People are mad that they didn’t even get a chance to vote. People paid thousands of dollars to come here as delegates and vote on these issues and they were deliberately shut down from doing so because the party stalled,” he said.

On Saturday, the party will convene for its final convention day to vote on the top 10 resolutions that passed during the three breakout sessions held Friday. If the proposals garner majority support, they will become party policy.

Teresa Wright and Keith Doucette, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

In Our Opinion: Go get ‘em Nathan

They need to change the name of the capital of Canada. Anyone… Continue reading

Prince Rupert students learn to chase away anxiety

Author Amanda Stern presented at Prince Rupert Middle School on Feb. 22

Northern residents rejoice at increased BC Ferries sailings

B.C. government announced that service will be restored to 2014 levels

Rio Tinto donates $50K for Shames Mountain chairlift upgrades

The money was used to purchase the chairlift’s bull wheel replacement last summer

More sailings coming to 10 BC Ferries’ routes

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said the sailings were originally cut in 2014

Ice skating on the North Coast, a rare treat

Seawolves hockey players bring their gear to Oliver Lake this week to play on the outdoor rink

Pink Shirt Day a reminder to ‘T.H.I.N.K.’ before posting on social media

‘Be Kind’ message on shirts sold for anti-bullying activities of Wednesday, Feb. 27

A ‘warm embrace’ for grieving parents at funeral of seven young fire victims

Mourners offered love and support to Kawthar Barho, mother of seven children

Indigenous leaders, politicians say Trans Mountain report flawed

The National Energy Board has endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline a second time

UPDATE: Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Legislation to protect B.C. farmland comes into effect

Regulations enhance food security, encourage long-term farming

Have you heard the legend of Shuswaggi, the Shuswap Lake monster?

Witness accounts as old as 1904, and as recent as 2018, place a creature in the lake’s depths

UPDATE: B.C. ticket holder winner of $25.9-million Lotto Max jackpot

Next draw set for Mar. 1 with an estimated jackpot of $10 million

B.C.-based ‘Team Tardi’ brings home gold in junior curling worlds

In a 9-4 victory over Switzerland, a Langley-based curling team earned its 2nd straight world title

Most Read