By Patrick B. Craine
OTTAWA, Ontario, May 18, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The annual National March for Life in Ottawa was blessed again this year with a strong voice on the podium on Parliament Hill from a group of 21 federal Members of Parliament.
The MPs used the occasion to celebrate the successes for the Canadian pro-life movement over the last year, and to pledge their continued efforts in the fight for life on the Hill.
Conservative MP Jeff Watson (Essex), standing alongside his wife and five children, gave voice to the upbeat optimism of the pro-life event when he said, “I think we can all declare that, first of all, we will have in Canada a culture that supports life from conception to natural death – we will see that come to pass.
“And secondly, I think we can declare together an end to the old debate about abortion, and the dawn of a new day in Canada where abortion will be unthinkable.”
At least 21 pro-life MPs came to address the crowd, which was estimated at 12,500. Of the 21, 18 were from the Conservative party and 3 were from the Liberal party. No representatives from the Bloc Quebecois or the NDP are known to have attended.
Rod Bruinooge (CPC, Winnipeg South), chair of the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus, promoted his private member's bill, C-510, called Roxanne's Law, which seeks to “empower women to press charges against people who threaten them into an abortion,” he said.
“In the pro-life movement in Canada it’s important to take small steps to acknowledge the value of the unborn, and I’m hopeful that people like yourselves will support this bill,” he added.
Liberal MP Dan McTeague (Pickering-Scarborough East) told the crowd, “Remember: none of us here would be able to enjoy life if indeed we didn't have life as a premise.”
McTeague was hailed as a hero for the pro-life movement in March after he defied his party's whip and voted against a motion from his party that called on the government to include abortion in the government's G8 maternal and child health initiative. Following the March 23 vote, McTeague's spokesman told LSN that his vote was simply “based on the position he's held for 16 years as an elected member of Parliament.”
Kelly Block (CPC, Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar) said, “I believe in the sanctity of all life from conception to natural death and to that end I will stand.”
Brad Trost (CPC, Saskatoon-Humboldt), who has made headlines on numerous occasions over the last year for his pro-life efforts, called the march “a celebration of life.” “A year ago when we stood up here, we did not think that the House of Commons would overwhelmingly defeat a piece of legislation on euthanasia,” he said. “We did not think that the House of Commons would vote against a measure calling on the government's support for funding of abortions overseas. These are victories we need to celebrate.”
Royal Galipeau (CPC, Ottawa-Orleans) donned a Montreal Canadiens jersey and explained that he wears the number 18 because the Hebrew word for 'life' ('chai') is given a numerical value of 18. “I'm very proud to use number 18 to glorify life from conception to natural death,” he said. “Don't ever forget: you're the landlords here; we're just tenants.”
Dean Del Mastro (CPC, Peterborough) issued a challenge to his pro-abortion colleagues. “Before we determine what the law on abortion should be, maybe the first step is to determine when this place believes that life begins,” he said. “I'm prepared to put my case forward, I believe science will put its case forward, and I'm prepared to stand four-square on my position, but I'm also prepared to have that conversation. Is the other side?”
Seven other MPs addressed the crowd: David Anderson, Guy Lauzon, Harold Albrecht, Ed Komarniki, Maurice Vellacott, Gurbax Singh Malhi, and Mark Warawa. Seven others were prevented from speaking due to a lack of time: Pierre Lemieux, Leon Benoit, Phil McColeman, Lavar Payne, Tim Uppal, Stephen Woodworth, and Paul Szabo.
See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Cardinal Ouellet to Canadian Gvmt: Take Stand For Life at Home Too
12,500 Gather on Parliament Hill for Canadian March for Life
800 Teens Pack Inaugural Canadian March for Life Youth Banquet
Canada's March for Life Draws Unprecedented Media Coverage