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The Globe and Mail

Majority won't spur change on abortion or same-sex marriage, Harper says

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper speaks during a campaign stop at a farm in Wainfleet, Ont., on April 4, 2011.


Stephen Harper is ruling out introducing measures to restrict abortions or eliminate same-sex marriages should he win a majority government.

Asked whether he'd make changes in these areas if he gained control of the Commons, the Conservative Leader said no.

"We will govern on the platform we are elected on," he told reporters during a campaign stop in the Niagara region.

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This doesn't prevent a Conservative MP from introducing a private member's bill to alter abortion laws or legislation on same-sex marriages.

But it does show Mr. Harper would not consider a majority government win as giving him a mandate to make changes.

Mr. Harper said the Tories would proceed to scrap the gun registry if they win a majority because this is long-held party policy. "The position of the party is the position of the party," he said.

"The other subjects you brought up are not the positions of the party," he said. "They're not in the Conservative platform. I have no intention of opening up those issues."

Canada legalized same-sex marriage under a former Liberal government.

In December of 2006 the Harper government introduced a motion asking whether Ottawa should reopen the matter. It was defeated 175-123.

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About the Author
Parliamentary reporter

Steven Chase has covered federal politics in Ottawa for The Globe since mid-2001, arriving there a few months before 9/11. He previously worked in the paper's Vancouver and Calgary bureaus. Prior to that, he reported on Alberta politics for the Calgary Herald and the Calgary Sun, and on national issues for Alberta Report. More

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