Tuesday, May 16, 2017

March for Life 2017 - a letter to Jim Watson

I'm pretty sure a lot of people have written to our mayor about his decision to remove the pro-life flag from City Hall. Here is one such letter that was sent to me.

To: Jim Watson, Mayor, City of Ottawa

cc: Michael Qaqish, Councillor Ward 22 - Gloucester - South Nepean

Dear Mr. Watson (copy to my City Councillor, Mr. Qaqish),

I was so proud of you and the City of Ottawa last week when I heard that the Pro-Life flag would be flying at Ottawa City Hall on the day of the National March for Life.

At the pro-life rally on Parliament Hill, again, I was so proud of you and the City when your proclamation in honour of Respect for Life Day was read out loud to the cheering crowd of Canadians who came from across our great country to stand up for all those in our society who are too vulnerable to stand up for themselves.

That pride and joy I experienced turned into confusion and disbelief when the police blocked us from continuing down our pre-approved route past the Human Rights Monument. The police chose instead to give in to the demands of a few protesters (probably less than 100 from what I could tell) and refused to let us proceed towards the Human Rights Monument. This happened last year, and so I thought for sure the police would be prepared to not let this happen again this year. (And I know that the police were warned that protesters would be there.)

Then later, when I read the letter of complaint signed by seven city Councillors (Catherine McKenney, Diane Deans, Marianne Wilkinson, Tobi Nussbaum, Jeff Leiper, Jan Harder, and Mathieu Fleury) and learned that you had actually apologized for allowing the pro-life flag to be raised and ordered it taken down, I felt like I had been punched in the gut. 

Mr. Watson, why do you (and the signatories to that offensive letter) hate us so much?

Why won't you defend the rights of those who support laws that would protect vulnerable human beings such as preborn children? (Even if you don't personally agree with that viewpoint, it is a valid one to have in a free and democratic society.) Why do you allow a handful of protesters to take away our freedom to peacefully walk along a pre-approved route in solidarity with the women who have been harmed by abortion? Why do you fly the flag for those who are proud of their LGBTQ lifestyle, but treat with contempt those who are proud of their belief in the sanctity of human life? Why the double standard?

Mr. Watson, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Human Rights Codes apply to all Canadians. Why are you treating us like second-class citizens?

I do not know if you failed last Thursday to uphold our freedoms because you personally agree with the pro-abortion/anarchist protesters who intimidated the police into diverting our March. And maybe you personally agree with the seven Councillors who signed the discriminatory letter that contained the lie that access to abortion in Canada is a constitutionally protected right, demanding the pro-life flag be taken down. (In fact, all seven Supreme Court justices in the 1988 Morgentaler decision agreed that the state has an interest in protecting the fetus; they all agreed Parliament could come up with a new abortion law to balance the interests of both women and unborn children). 

Or maybe you acted as you did because you did not have the courage to defend our democratic freedoms in the face of controversy. If that is the case, then, with respect, Mr. Watson, that is not leadership. 

But if the former--if you acted as you did because you agree with the pro-abortion/pro-euthanasia status quo in our country, that is, that there should be no legal protection at all for children in the womb; that abortion must remain fully funded by the taxpayer; that physicians should be coerced into collaborating with abortion, euthanasia, and assisted suicide against their deeply held religious and/or conscientious convictions; that a violent criminal who assaults a pregnant woman and intentionally kills the baby she did NOT choose to abort should face no consequences for killing her beloved child--if you acted as you did because you personally hold such views, then you have allowed your own personal views to cloud your judgment and take priority over your responsibility to uphold the democratic freedoms of a whole segment of Canadian society (the thousands who attended the March, and the millions across the country whom we represent).

Regardless of your motives, Mr. Watson, I'm now asking that you apologize to all who took part in the March last Thursday, and to all Canadians across the country who share our pro-life values, for the discriminatory actions taken by the City of Ottawa: the removal of the pro-life flag, your misplaced apology for allowing the flag to be raised in the first place, and the refusal by police to allow us to proceed along our pre-approved route past the Human Rights Monument.

I am especially disheartened that this discriminatory behaviour by the City of Ottawa would happen when we are celebrating our great country's 150th Anniversary. I thought we would have reached the point where our governments would treat everyone in Canada (including in Ottawa) equally and respectfully. There's nothing to celebrate about the way the City treated pro-life Canadians last week.

An apology from you, Mr. Watson, and a promise not to allow this to happen again is in the interests of the common good. It will send a clear message that our Nation's Capital is a city that respects freedom and justice, not just for some, but for all. Everyone benefits in that kind of a society.

And it will show true leadership on your part, Mr. Watson.

Thank you, and I look forward to your response.


No comments:

Post a Comment