(New York) Justin Trudeau’s government announces funding for women’s rights overseas, in an apparent attempt to pit the Liberals’ position on reproductive rights against the Conservatives, both in Canada and in the States -United.

Prime Minister Trudeau is expected to reaffirm the Canadian government’s commitment to supporting reproductive freedom Thursday in New York, where he is attending a high-profile summit.

Ahead of the event, International Development Minister Harjit Sajjan told reporters in Ottawa Thursday morning that the government would spend $195 million over five years and $43 million annually thereafter to help women’s rights organizations. focused on gender equality.

He said this funding was necessary because access to abortion can be “rapidly” restricted around the world, including in the United States.

This funding will be made under the government’s “Women’s Voice and Leadership” program, first launched in 2017.

The Liberal government says it has worked with about 1,500 organizations under this program so far.

The announcement comes at a time when the Liberals appear to be cutting their overall development spending, which had been increased in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

This year’s federal budget indicates that spending will decrease by about 15% in the next fiscal year.

Minister Sajjan used Thursday’s announcement to effectively pit the Liberals against the Conservatives. “When it comes to women’s rights, our government is steadfastly pro-choice,” he told a news conference on Parliament Hill.

“Conservatives continue to seek ways to reopen the abortion access debate, and unlike them, we will never remain silent on these issues. »

Abortion rights have long been a political lightning rod in both countries, but the debate gained momentum in the United States last year when the Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 abortion rights ruling. abortion, Roe v. Wade.

The Conservatives’ stance on abortion in Canada has never been fully aligned with that of their Republican counterparts south of the border, but opponents of abortion are a strong voice among the party’s base. . On the other hand, chef Pierre Poilievre described himself as pro-choice.

Mr. Trudeau’s trip to New York will also focus on the trade in essential minerals.

He is also due to meet with a United Nations task force on sustainable development, along with Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley, and speak to the influential think tank Council on Foreign Relations.

Experts on both sides of the border are hoping to hear more about how Ottawa plans to quickly grow its critical minerals sector.

Former diplomat Louise Blais, now a senior adviser to the Business Council of Canada, believes it is time to detail the plan to bring these riches of the 21st century out of the ground.

Mr. Trudeau is aiming to build on the momentum of what most observers see as a successful and productive visit by President Joe Biden to Ottawa last month.

The prime minister will also stop by Global Citizen NOW, an annual summit meeting of celebrities, activists and change-minded lawmakers.