OTTAWA, May 15, 2003 ( – LifeSite News staff are rejuvenated after having attended the Canadian national March for Life in Ottawa yesterday.  Over 3,500 pro-lifers joined in the March which was led this year by fourth degree Knights of Columbus in full regalia. The numbers showed an increase of over 1000 participants from last year’s count.  The march from Parliament commenced with encouraging speeches by pro-life parliamentarians, pro-life leaders and religious leaders including two Catholic bishops.  Despite media advisories sent to all major media announcing the March, a search of Canadian English media coverage exposed a total media blackout of the event.  Even locally, the Ottawa Citizen newspaper failed to cover the event in today’s paper.  LifeSite searched for coverage in all major media outlets including CBC, CTV, Global, National Post, Globe and Mail, and the Toronto Star.  Despite the media blackout, the House of Commons recognized the March. Alliance MP Maurice Vellacott, a co-chairman of the pro-life caucus, said yesterday in the House:  “Today marks the sixth annual March for Life celebration on Parliament Hill. Earlier this afternoon thousands of Canadians from coast to coast came together outside this Parliament building to affirm their commitment to the value of life from conception to natural death.  “Yesterday some members of parliament from all parties held a press conference in conjunction with this event. Women who shared the podium with us told of the harmful effects of abortion on their health and well-being. These women want the same standards of informed consent to exist for abortion as are required in other areas of health care. Strong reproductive health policy needs to recognize these concerns. Public policy needs to be based on the most current research available. This would be consistent with a commitment to excellence in women’s health.  “I want to thank all those who are in town for the March for Life for keeping these issues before us while we legislate in this place.”  Liberal MP Paul Steckle also spoke in the House saying, “Today on the front steps of Parliament citizens peacefully demonstrated to show their desire for new laws to protect our unborn children. Without an abortion law on the books, every year in Canada we permit more than 100,000 innocent lives to be terminated without any consideration for the lost human potential. “I applaud the people outside who are taking the time to remind Parliament that it is our duty to protect those who are not able to protect themselves.  I offer my support for the belief that all life is a sacred gift from the moment of conception to the point of natural death.  “Most important, I would urge my colleagues to keep this philosophy in mind as Parliament considers issues involving embryonic stem cells and human reproductive technologies. In short, just because science says that we can do something does not mean that we should.”