Harper, Martin spar over property rights
Last Updated: Thursday, January 12, 2006 | 11:43 AM ET
Harper said during a leaders debate on Monday that he would like to see the Charter of Rights and Freedoms include property rights.
On Thursday, he said, "It's not a high priority."
But the Liberals are trying to use it as an example of how closely aligned the Tory leader is with the conservative movement in the United States.
Liberal Leader Paul Martin said property rights is the "shrine at which the U.S. conservative movement bows."
He said enshrining those rights in the Constitution would allow the government to attack a range of laws.
"If property rights were enshrined in the Constitution then probably you would not be able to ban handguns," Martin said.
Harper said he has no desire to strike down those kinds of laws.
"We believe the Charter of Rights should reflect the right to own property, the right not to be deprived of property without due process of law and just and timely compensation."