SAINT JOHN, NB, February 17, 2004 ( – Elsie Wayne, Member of Parliament for Saint John and Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, announced yesterday that she will not seek re-election to the House of Commons in the next federal election.  The pro-life and pro-family MP has been one of the most outspoken defenders of life and family in the legislature over her eleven year foray into the federal spotlight.  “There comes a time in our lives when we must decide whether the journey is ours to continue or if the torch should be passed to another,” said Mrs. Wayne. “As much as I love my role, and although there are many more adventures on the horizon, there is nothing I would rather do than spend more time with my husband, Richard, our boys and their families.”  Wayne,  Co-Chairman of the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus, attended, as she always does, the annual March for Life last May and was twice given a standing ovation and also received a congratulatory plaque in recognition of her integrity.

The praise was not misplaced.  During debates last year on the dreaded stem cell bill then C-13 (now called C-6), Wayne delivered an impassioned plea for the right to life of human embryos. Speaking about human embryos at conception, Wayne said, MPs are “talking once again about a tiny cell which is a tiny baby.”  Wayne vividly expressed her distress at the legislators’ cold deliberations over destructive experimentation on unborn children. “Would anyone realistically say that it is okay to take the lives of innocent three year olds in the name of medical science? If it is brutal and barbaric to take the life of a little three year old, why do we, as a society and as a government, not say that it is just as brutal and barbaric to end the life of a healthy fetus in the mother’s womb?,” she said.

But even more than her views on life, Wayne was persecuted but refused to back down from her stalwart defence of the family and of decency.

Speaking in the House of Commons on the twin evils of the attempt to redefine marriage and to sanction child pornography, Wayne said, “It is pathetic that with all the problems we have in this country from coast to coast we would be spending this time discussing this sort of thing.”  The then 71-year-old grandmother continued: “I have to say I am really hurt when I think of this. As I have stated, I look at these young people, our pages who are sitting here, bless their hearts, and we want to have a great country for them. We want to make sure that we have a solid foundation for their future, and a solid foundation for their future is to make sure that we stand up and we speak out for the values that are good for them for the rest of their lives. . I will say right now that when I look at the definition of marriage being changed that is not a solid foundation for the future of our children.”  The reactions of homosexual activists to this and other comments of the MP in defence of the family were vicious.  She was denounced as a hatemonger and a bigot, not only by radical homosexual activists but also by her own political colleagues, even by the then-Leader of her own Progressive Conservative Party -Catholic Joe Clark.  ( )  However, grass roots Canadians supported the embattled MP. In less than a week she received over 600 phone calls and emails of support for her courageous stand.