Del Mastro Votes With 2000-Year-Old Values

Pat Trudeau takes a look at local MP Dean Del Mastro's controversial vote this week that could have changed women's rights

Dean Del Mastro, MP - Peterborough (photo by Conservative Party of Canada)
Dean Del Mastro, MP - Peterborough (photo by Conservative Party of Canada)

It’s been a tough year for Dean Del Mastro, largely because he spent most of it with his foot in his mouth. Luckily for him, the public venom seems to have lost strength since Parliament Hill returned from summer vacation, which may be because MP Del Mastro has been largely silent — until Thursday that is.

This week, a private member’s bill was tabled with the intention to create a government committee to review the Criminal Code of Canada’s definition of when a child’s life begins. Not a big deal, right? Well, it’s bigger than you may think.

The idea behind this, as Del Mastro explained to on Thursday, was to “reevaluate a 400-year-old definition”. He says that — and I’m paraphrasing — we need to rethink this old definition since other people around the world have as well. He also went on to say that this isn’t about questioning the legality of abortions, just to see if we’ve defined “life” correctly. So I guess what Del Mastro is saying is that he cares far more deeply about word definition than women’s rights.

It’s no secret that Del Mastro is against abortion and so I wasn’t surprised, nor should you be, that he was one of 91 MPs that voted in favour of the bill this week. Unfortunately for him and the other 90 MPs, four of whom were Liberal, the bill was voted down overwhelmingly 203 – 91.

The bill had serious implications. If the bill had passed and the committee found that the definition was archaic and say, defined life as beginning after the first trimester, the government’s next step could have been to put massive restrictions on a woman’s right to choose and change the word of the law.

Now if one were to use Del Mastro’s thinking that we need to review 400-year-old definitions, shouldn’t a 2000-year-old bible be slightly reviewed? Shouldn’t 50-year-old values evolve into a more modern view? Most importantly, shouldn’t men shut the hell up and let women decide what is best for their bodies?

Listen, I don’t mean to blow the lid off of this one, but I’m a man. I know, didn’t mean to rock your world there. I can hardly take care of myself, let alone have the gall to tell a woman what she can and can’t do. Also, this isn’t the equivalent to a speeding ticket. This isn’t a blanket rule that government can use common sense to decide on because, to be frank, governments really don’t have a lot of common sense.

I’m not going to be a coward and say “I’d like to keep my personal beliefs out of this”. I’m going to tell you that I’m not pro-abortion but I’m also not pro – “a bunch of old guys deciding on women’s rights” either. I’m pro-choice because who am I to tell a woman that she’s doing the wrong thing.

It’s public knowledge that Del Mastro is Catholic and we all know what the Church’s stance is on birth control/abortion. But here’s the deal: if YOU decide to be a part of (or are born into) a certain belief system, congrats, I’m happy for you. Live it, love it, be it. However, church and state are bad bedfellows.

My advice to Del Mastro would be to try his best to stay quiet: if you believe, I mean truly believe, that the majority of Canadians agree with your point of view, review the fact that your point of view was shared by less than a third of Parliament and that, my friend, is not a majority.