After telling Quebeckers on Wednesday evening that his government would ensure the right to abortion “full stop”, the Conservative leader Erin O’Toole was trying to explain on Thursday morning why his program promises to protect the right of doctors to refuse to provide medical services to which they have moral or religious objections.

Mr. O’Toole insists there is no contradiction here, “not at all”.

At a press briefing on Thursday morning, he cited above all themedical assistance in dying to justify this door that its program opens to health professionals to “protect” their “right of conscience”.

The promise to protect the right of conscience – a measure championed by social conservatives who maintain that doctors and nurses should not have to refer patients to services like abortion, physician-assisted dying or surgery. sex change – is included in the Conservatives’ election platform.

Despite insistent requests from journalists, he declined to say whether this protection should extend to denial of abortion services.

“I want to make sure that women’s access to services [d’avortement] is available across the country. It is an important right which is not the only one that I will defend. I think we can also defend the rights of conscience of the admirable men and women who work in our health system, ”he said in English.

” It’s possible […] with an increase in services for medical assistance in dying to have an approach that will respect our nurses and our doctors, ”he repeated, in both languages, on several occasions.

Mr. O’Toole has already spoken clearly about his unease at seeing physician-assisted dying extended to people with mental health problems. Current federal law does not yet allow this, but it is under consideration and may become reality in a future version of the law.

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Across the river, in Gatineau, the Bloc leader Yves-Francois Blanchet saw in the speech of the Conservative opponent “a slightly ambiguous formula” to please both Quebecers and its base.

The Conservative leader was back in Ottawa on the fifth day of the campaign to talk about the housing crisis.

He underlined his promise of one million homes in three years. He intends to achieve this by transforming offices of federal officials and banning the purchase of Canadian real estate by foreign investors for at least two years.

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