Scheer accuses Liberals of using abortion to distract from SNC-Lavalin scandal
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, September 12, 2019 1:03PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, September 12, 2019 8:16PM EDT
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is accusing Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau of trying to change the channel over the SNC-Lavalin affair through attacks on a Toronto Tory's stance on the contentious abortion issue.
Scheer was speaking on Day 2 of the campaign in the riding of York Centre, where the Conservatives have selected Rachel Willson to run.
Liberal cabinet minister Carolyn Bennett, who is running in another Toronto riding, released a video earlier in the day that shows Willson discussing her desire to end abortion through "pro-life legislation."
"Nothing on this issue has changed for our party. We have always made it very clear that we will not support re-opening this issue," Scheer said during a campaign stop at a drop-in centre for families dealing with life-threatening illnesses.
"As prime minister I will oppose, I will vote against any measure that does attempt to do that."
He says his party is focused on making life more affordable for Canadian families, which includes a pledge to make maternity leave tax free.
Scheer has also been on the offensive after reports in the Globe and Mail about the RCMP examining potential obstruction of justice in the handling of the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin.
Scheer has said Trudeau has lied repeatedly about what he did to push former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould to offer a negotiated settlement to the Quebec engineering firm, which is facing criminal charges over alleged corrupt dealings in Libya. He says is engaged in a cover-up for refusing to allow people involved to talk fully about the matter.
Scheer said the focus on Willson shows the Liberals are "desperate to change the channel on their scandals and corruption."
"The only people who are continually trying to re-open this debate or fear-monger on this issue are Liberals," he said.
Early polls have suggested the Conservatives were essentially tied with the Liberals at the outset of the 40-day campaign, while the NDP and Greens are fighting for third.