Here's CLC's June promotional letter. Not only does it provide a good review of the recent National March for Life in Ottawa, but also describes regional marches across the country as well as other pro-life initiatives such as the Crossroads Canada and the "New" Abortion Caravan. Enjoy.
The National March for Life flowed through the streets of Ottawa, noisily, joyfully and with chants and cheers, as I'd predicted. The streets were teaming with people who had decided they would march to bring truth back to the discussion, to the public square and to public office arund the country.
The crowd was numbered at 19,500 by CLC National President jim Hughes. However in a delightful twist of fate, the Globe and Mail reported us at 20,000. We'll take it! In fact, this year the overall media coverage of the March was more balanced than it had ever been.
Stephen Woodworth was one of almost 20 MPs who appeared on the Hill and received a genuinely warm and enthusiastic welcome from the crowd. He was eloquent but it must be said that actions speak louder than words and his Motion has generated a discussion prolifers in our country are grateful for. Whatever support is lacking from his party is made up for by the strong support from all of us. The MPs spoke briefly but eloquently and we were grateful for their presence and supprt. The RCMP was concerned about security, given the student protests in Montreal and decided to block off 3/4 of one side of Parliament Hill, but frankly the optics were terrific. The tiny group that came to deliberately disrupt a peaceful rally were dwarfed by the amount of space they had been given. All my interactons with the RCMP were polite and professional and they seemed to want to protect the pro-lifers. Some were more gruff than others, but we know these events can erupt with the malfeasance of jsut a few.
The Rally and the March are not the beginning and end of course. The Youth Banquet had over 800 students and the Rose Dinner had over 300 adults. Our respective speakers, Rev. Patrick Mahoney and Steven Mosher were excellent and well received... The workshops that were attended the next day by hundreds and hundreds of students, equipped them for service or for activism in the pro-life movements. They were being instructed in ways they would not have received elsewhere, with holy boldness and love. It was very moving to withness the development of the next generations.
Around the country, 4000 pro-lifers participated in regional Marches. Though only 20 Islanders participated in the March in front of the provincial legislature in St. John's, Patrick Hanlon reported that the largest pro-life demonstration in Newfoundland takes place on Good Friday. This year 300 people took part in that just a few weeks before the March for Life. Furthermore, as Senator Norman Doyle (Conservative, Newfoundland and Labrador) noted on Parliament Hill, there was a large contingent of Newfoundlanders at the National March for Life in Ottawa (they could be seen waving their pronvical flag as they marched). In Halifax, the Nova Scotia March for Life drew about 75 people. Ellen Chesal, Executive Director of CLC Nova Scotia and Andre Turcot, State Pro-Life Director for the Knights of Columbus, addressed the crowd in front of the Province House. A candlelight vigil held the night before was attended by more than 20 people. In Prince Edward Island, at least 100 people took part in the March outside the legislature in Charlottetown.
David Abbott of the Knights of Columbus told the gathering it is a fallacy to believe that a nation can legally and wilfully destroy its own people without also destroying itself." The New Brunswick March for Life, organized by New Brunswick Right to Life took place at the legislature with more than 400 people in attendance. Several members from both the Conservative and Liberal parties attended the gathering. The Winnepeg March for Life was organized by CLC Manitoba, the Knights of Columbus and Life's Vision. Winnepeg Archbishop James Weisgerber told the 433 pro-life activists gathered at The Forks to defend life:"We have to defend life in all of the ways that we can." The crowd then walked to the legislature where they heard testimony from a member of Silent No More Awareness Campaign and were challenged to swell the numbers for next years' march. The Saskatchewan March for Life in Regina drew 500 people while the March in Saskatoon was attended by 220 people. Various Saskatchewan bishops, clergy and reperesentatives of several church groups, members of Silent No More Awareness Campaign and Rachel's Vineyard and other pro-life groups were present at the Marches. The Regina rally was also attended by several MLA's who lent their support to the cause. The Alberta March for Life took place in Edmonton on May 17, 2012. Julius Yankowsky, Executive director of CLC Alberta, estimated that there were over 400 peoole at the March which started at the Alberta legislature and processed 2 km to City Hall where more speakers addressed the crowd. Participants then walked back to the legislature for the closing ceremony. More than 1,800 people participated in the fifth annual British Columbia March for Life in Victoria. "Our intention here today is to peacefully and prayerfully bring attention to the victims of abortion in our province," said BC March for Life media spokesmwoman, Anastasia Pearse.
Across the country the Spirit is moving and so are the young adults. Crossroads Canada, a non-profit pro-life organization, dedicated to the renewal of the Culture of Life, has begun its journey. The students left Vancouver B.C. heading to Ottawa. They will be walking for a total of 12 weeks, in shifts day and night, Monday through Friday, all the while, praying for the unborn. On weekends the Crossroads Walkers will be staying at host homes and giving presentations to Churches. Look for them in your area. (Their blog will keep you informed about their travel.)
Meanwhile a different approach starts on May 29th, with the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform leaving Vancouver in the "New" Abortion Caravan. For those of you who don't remember, in 1970 a group of radical pro-abortion feminists gathered outside the Vancouver Art Gallery to start a cross-counry trek to Ottawa to have abortion laws repealed and have abortion on demand. 42 years later, the New Abortion Caravan seeks to boldly show the death and destruction that has been caused by the "choice" of abortion. A picture paints a thousand words; a CCRB picture, a thousand souls.
I have good news to share with you today.
First of all, Campaign Life Coalition has launched a new website, http://www.iamahumanbeing.ca/, which provides scientific evidence that life begins at conception. The goal of this website is to help educate people on why human life should be protected from conception to natural death. Furthermore, the site also gives a description of motion M-312, a motion advanced by Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth in order to re-examine section 223 of Canada’s Criminal Code, which states that a child is only human once he has completely left his mother’s womb.
I recommend the 5-minute video on the iamhumanbeing.ca homepage. Though you may have already seen various videos of children’s development in-utero, I find this one is particularly well done and quite moving. You can also explore the website further (select “Take Action” option) to find out how to get involved and contact your MP to support motion M-312.
Secondly…another new website called AbortionSafety.com is starting up April 3rd. The aim of this initiative is to inform women about the mental and physical dangers of abortion. The site is run by SecularProLife.org. It is great to see that both secular and religious organizations unite in their aim to end abortion! AbortionSafety.com will have a compilation of all abortion-related complaints to assist women in assessing the risks of having an abortion.
Hear Mr. James Hughes, president of Campaign Life Coalition, and others involved in the Canadian Pro-Life movement interviewed and learn about the history of the pro-life movement in Canada at Priests for Life Canada website.
I found the interview with Mr. Hughes quite informative. After treating about his early days in the pro-life movement, he spoke about his association with Quebec Life Coalition founder, Mr. Gilles Grondin, introduced me to a youth group operating at the UN - World Youth Alliance - started by a Canadian, gave a quick overview of the Canadian political scene that has led to the vacuum of legislation protecting the unborn child, and, lastly, dealt with euthanasia, in Canada and abroad.
These interviews are an hour or so long, without any commercials, safe for a pro-life song.
Campaign Life Coalition's Alissa Golob discusses with Sun TV's Brian Lilley the morality and efficacy of using graphic abortion pictures to dissuade people from abortion:
I'm still at the pro-life conference in Ottawa, and will be blogging about a few things this Monday. In the meantime, here are some pictures of the pro-life conference in Ottawa. In order of appearance, we have John Smeaton (Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, Peter Ryan (Life Canada), Alex Schadenberg (Euthanasia Prevention Coalition), André Bourque (Living with Dignity), Rebecca Richmond (National Campus Life Network), Lia Mills (of YouTube fame), Faytene Kryskow (4MyCanada), Rod Bruinooge (who will present C-510 in Parliament Monday), former Liberal pro-life MP Tom Wappel, John-Henry Westen (LifeSiteNews), Reverend Johnny Hunter (LEARN), and Jim Hughes (President of Campaign Life Coalition).
Bev Oda shows her true colours and should be removed as International Co-operation Minister says Campaign Life Coalition
International Co-operation Minister, Bev Oda has returned to Canada from Africa and has again been stating her personal opinions on her blogs regarding family planning and abortion in third world countries.
In a news article Oda stated that abortion is legal in Mozambique and Mali when a women’s life is in danger. She said this means most women do not have access to abortion.
“Bev Oda once again shows her preference on “access to abortion” as she did at the time of the G-8 controversy,” said Jim Hughes, National President of Campaign Life Coalition (CLC). “Surely the Prime Minister must have known that a Minister as pro-abortion as Oda would attempt to impose her own views within the implementation of the Canadian goals to provide help to women and children in third world countries.”
“Bev Oda worked closely with Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion groups during the G-8 discussions and made pro-abortion statements at that time. She eventually conformed to Party policy regarding maternal health at the last moment,” said Mary Ellen Douglas, CLC National Organizer. “It is now very clear that she was merely bidding her time.
Campaign Life Coalition calls on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to remove Bev Oda from her position as Minister of International Co-operation since she cannot seem to follow Conservative Party Policy on the international stage.
A pro-life youth conference organised by Campaign Life Coalition (CLC, of which QLC is the Quebec division) and co-sponsored by the National Campus Life Network (NCLN) was held in Ottawa the day after the May 14 March for Life.
NCLN is an organization that helps university students establish pro-life groups on their campuses. They provide advice, pre-printed literature, as well as access to pro-life seminars and retreats, such as this very Youth Conference that was held on May 15 in Ottawa. QLC’s secretary-general and Montreal director of the 40 Days for Life, Georges Buscemi, had a chance to attend, along with about 600 or so students from Canadian high schools and universities. During this day of seminars and plenary sessions, students were offered presentations on euthanasia and assisted suicide by Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, and Father John Lemire, and by Conservative MP Pierre Lemieux, who, during a plenary session, encouraged students to run for office. Lemieux remarked that he had never really dreamt of becoming an MP, but he gave it a try and now fights for life and family at the highest levels.
Liberal MP Paul Szabo also delivered to the students a forthright address about the ups and downs of being a pro-life MP. One presentation the assembled students particularly appreciated was that of Samantha Singson, former CLC U.N. representative and now director of governmental relations at the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), publishers of the “Friday Fax” which many pro-lifers receive weekly by email.
C-FAM monitor UN diplomats and their use of sneaky, abortion-promoting wording in their resolutions at the UN headquarters in New York City. The listeners especially appreciated Ms. Singson’s frankness when she described how UN diplomats stealthily maneuvered and inserted weasel wording in their resolutions to promote abortion around the world, and how she and the C-FAM team helped shed light on their machinations and thwart them.
What most interested us here at QLC was the one meeting which the chaperones and teachers held for about an hour in a separate room, while the students were busy elsewhere. During this session, in which Jim Hughes, president of CLC, was present, teachers and parents spoke openly about how to better approach sometimes reticent school boards with requests for money to use towards pro-life and pro-family activities for students. The lessons shared during this session could definitely carry over to teachers and parents here in Quebec. In fact, we at QLC would very much welcome any teacher or parent who is reading this and wants to know more. Just give us a call or write!