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What does Pierre Poilievre think about the unborn?

In a Dec. 11 profile published by le journal de québec, the wife of Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre talked about the couple’s attitude toward the unborn. Anaida Poilievre told the newspaper (in French):

“We are pro-choice. We decided on this. I am a woman from Quebec, I grew up here. And it’s part of my values.”

But one of Canada’s most prominent abortion defenders, Joyce Arthur, doesn’t think Poilievre is really on her side. She argued back in the summer of 2022 that while Poilievre had declared himself both “pro-choice” and “pro-choix” at the French-language leadership debate earlier that year, his voting record indicated he was “anti-choice.”

So which is it? Is Poilievre somehow against the slaughter of the unborn, even as he has verbally defended a mother’s right to murder her child?

The voting record that Arthur points to shows Poilievre voted for a number of bills which did seek to protect the unborn. But these were protections that pro-choicers should have supported too… if they were, in fact, pro-choice and not simply pro-abortion. Poilievre voted for bills that would have made it a crime to kill or harm an unborn child that the mother wanted to keep. He also supporting penalizing attempts to coerce a woman into having an abortion she didn’t want. Even if we were, for the sake of argument, to adopt the pro-choice notion that a mother’s decision is what makes an unborn baby valuable, then one could be entirely pro-choice (or “pro-choix”) and still support these bills. That same voting record also shows that Poilievre voted against a pro-life bill that would have banned sex-selective abortions. So, Arthur doesn’t make a compelling case for Poilievre to be anything other than what he, and his wife, have said he is.

That said, Poilievre’s Conservatives still welcome pro-life MPs – the only party in Parliament to do so – and he himself has voted for some of the private member’s bills the party’s pro-life MPs have offered that would have protected at least some unborn children. As leader he is courting the pro-choice vote, but he is still looking for the pro-life vote too. So any interaction pro-life voters have with him will need to be done with our eyes wide open.

Photo is adapted from the original here by Wikipageedittor099 and is licensed under a CC BY-SA 4.0 agreement.

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Two months later, Poilievre’s apple moment keeps rolling

Back in October, Canada’s Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre went viral with a video clip that’s been characterized as a “masterclass” for dealing with hostile media. Poilievre was visiting an Okanagan orchard, and the editor of the local paper, the Times Chronicle, tried to get Poilievre to answers questions about how he was a rightwing “populist….taking a page out of the Donald Trump” playbook. In response, the Conservative leader – munching contently on a huge apple – batted away each loaded question by asking his own. He wanted Urquhart to define his terms. And Urquhart couldn’t. When Poilievre posted the clip to Twitter on Oct. 14, it garnered more than 1.5 million views, and national coverage by the likes of the Vancouver Sun, National Post, and Globe and Mail. His performance was so dominant the Winnipeg Free Press’s Charles Adler tried to recast the exchange as the Conservative leader “squashing” and “devouring” the poor reporter. Poilievre’s apple moment made a splash in the US too, and the rest of the English-speaking world (prompting an Australian Sky News anchor to wonder if “perhaps there is hope for Canada yet”). And two months later the clip was still making the rounds. Joe Rogan, possibly the world’s most popular podcaster (this is not a recommendation of his show), shared the clip with his tens of millions of listeners on a Dec. 7 episode. Christian apologist Tim Barnett highlighted the seven questions Poilievre posed as a “brilliant” example of “using good questions in tough conversations.” Poilievre went viral because he was effective and because he was confident in the face of an arrogant, unfair attack – asking the reporter to explain his insults dismantled them, and Poilievre’s casual apple-munching was the perfect optic. Barnett believes God’s children can be that effective and that confident in our own confrontations with a hostile world if we employ this same tactic. In attacking our God, the world is attacking the very Author of reason and reality, which leaves them open to the same sort of dismantling if only we are brave enough to ask them to explain themselves. And the apple? Well, that’s optional. ...