OTTAWA, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- Former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien is warning fellow Liberals the governing Conservatives are poised to erode hard-won rights and values.
The 77-year-old lawyer from Quebec, who was prime minister between 1993 and 2003, told party members in a fundraising e-mail newsletter sent out Monday night Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservatives were on a course to attack such existing rights as same-sex marriage and legal abortions, CTV News reported.
"Then might come [reinstituting] capital punishment," Chretien wrote. "And one by one, the values we cherish as Canadians will be gone.
"Everything we built will start being chipped away."
The Liberals were demoted to third-party status in Parliament as Harper's Conservatives won a majority and the socialist New Democratic Party finished second in May 2 elections.
Despite Chretien's warning, Harper has repeatedly said over the past few years he has no interest in changing laws affecting gay marriage or abortion.
However, this week Harper's government announced it was pulling out of the Kyodo environmental protocol and is working at dismantling a federal long-gun registry.