In no uncertain terms, Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon yesterday ruled out any kind of family-planning programs being included in Canada's "signature" initiative at June's G8 summit - a strategy to improve the health of mothers and young children in poor countries.
"It does not deal in any way, shape or form with family planning. Indeed, the purpose of this is to be able to save lives," Mr. Cannon told the Foreign Affairs committee.
So, in short, the HarperCon connection to the ultra-conservative "base" of religious fanatics has surfaced once again - this time with respect to women's health.
I'm sorry, Mr. Cannon, but you are doing nothing for women's health if you are taking out of their hands the ability to control their fertility. (and telling women to 'keep their legs crossed' doesn't work - especially in many of the third world countries where women are more chattel than equal members of society)
Women's health must include all dimensions - not just when they are pregnant, but also family planning, contraception and other forms of birth control. To do anything less is political dogma, not good government or policy.
Of course, this comes as little or no surprise to those who have been paying attention to the Harper government. There's been more 'dog whistles' put out in their policy in the last few months than I care to count. Whether we talk about Jason Kenney's lying deceit about his role in the content of this country's new citizenship book, the 2006 "cuts" that targetted women and minorities, or this issue, they are intended to signal to the squirming mass of extremism that had control over the Reform/Alliance party policy that they have not been forgotten.