HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, March 5, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Organizers of a Canadian youth leadership contest have announced that “due to such a close final tally of pledges,” both the contestant supported by pro-life advocates and the contestant supported by pro-abortion activists will be awarded a prize.
The two women ran a neck-and-neck campaign after their platforms became a contest of the culture of life over the culture of death.
Tara Brinston from Fredericton campaigned to improve the rights of persons with an intellectual disability while Kandace Hagen made it her promise to work to bring abortion to Prince Edward Island, the only province in Canada that remains abortion-free.
Kandace had vowed that if she were to win, she would donate the prize money towards providing travel bursaries to island mothers seeking to abort their babies on the mainland.
After learning about the contest and Kandace’s pro-abortion platform, a local pro-life leader had urged supporters to vote for Tara in an e-mail that was leaked to the press, sparking a heated contest.
As of this morning, according to the Active-8 website, Brinston received 1615 pledges while Hagen with her pro-abortion platform lagged behind by three for a total of 1612.
In their official announcement of the results, however, Active-8 simply said that both received “over 1600 pledges.”
Controversy erupted last week when organizers behind the event decided not to count pledges towards Brinston’s final tally that bore any mark of being pro-life.
Rena Kulczycki, Member & Public Engagement Coordinator for The Atlantic Council for International Cooperation told Matthew Falman of Saskatchewan Youth LifeGroup that his pledge to “end the statistic that 9 out of 10 Down Syndrome children are aborted because of the myth that theirs is a lesser quality of life” had been rejected because it made “reference to abortion.”
Regarding the final tally, the rules of the competition stated, “[e]ach pledge made through the profile page of an Active-8! Ambassador will be counted towards a running tally of acts they have inspired. Whichever one of them has the most pledges attributed to their work by 11:59pm on February 29th, 2012 will win $1000.”
“What a joke,” said Ann Marie Tomlin, a spokesperson for P.E.I. Right to Life Association, to LifeSiteNews. “Pro-aborts could use the word ‘abortion’ in their pledge. Pro-life youth were told their pledges would be rejected if they did not take the work ‘abortion’ out of their pledge.”
“Even though many pledges from pro-life youth were rejected, we all know that after the votes were tallied, Tara was ahead. Announcing a tie was a great way to save face and all the biased media coverage in the world will not change the facts. It is sad when one can win an award for youth leadership by silencing the voices of more than half the youth they supposedly represent.”
Tomlins was indignant that organizers allowed youth to support abortion by pledging with Kandace, but refused their pledges if they happened to be against abortion.
“Oh, now I get it, youth can vote for abortion but if they happen to be against abortion, they can’t vote. Uh, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that something is wrong here.”
“There was the denial of pro-life Canadian youth of their fundamental right to vote and to express themselves as they so choose.”
To Express your concerns:
Atlantic Council for International Cooperation
210-2099 Gottingen Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Ph: (902) 431-2311