Prime Minister Stephen Harper is expected to take questions from reporters after an announcement in New Brunswick on Thursday. Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press
Prime Minister Stephen Harper took a shot at Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau's stance on abortion today when he suggested the Liberal Party is not the beacon of inclusiveness it bills itself to be.
"Ours is a big party where we understand the Canadian people have different, often conflicting views on issues like this, deeply held views — and all such views are welcome in the Conservative Party of Canada," Harper said following an announcement in New Brunswick today.
The remarks were aimed at Trudeau, who has taken a strong stance in favour of abortion rights, requiring potential candidates to support the party's position in any vote on the issue in the House of Commons.
The prime minister said he has no plans to reopen the abortion debate after the Liberals asked Ottawa to intervene to determine whether New Brunswick's regulations governing access to the procedure violate the Canada Health Act.
Harper said the administration of health care is within provincial jurisdiction.
Harper made the remarks after an announcement in New Brunswick, where the issue of abortion access has flared up in recent weeks.
The Morgentaler Clinic in Fredericton is planning to close at the end of July, and three Liberal MPs say the province's refusal to fund the facility may not be in line with the Health Act's accessibility principle.
The source of contention is a provincial regulation that requires women who want publicly funded abortions to have them done at two approved hospitals and only after they get approval from two doctors certifying it is medically necessary.