More MPs Denounce Morgentaler’s Elevation into the Order of Canada

Governor General's legacy will be one that "deepened wounds and fostered divisiveness"
Tue Jul 8, 2008 - 12:15 pm EST

By Tim Waggoner
  OTTAWA, ON, July 8, 2008 ( - The public outcry following last week’s announcement that the nation’s highest civilian honour would be awarded to its most prolific abortionist, Henry Morgentaler, is only growing louder as several more Members of Parliament have joined the dissenting chorus.
  After condemning the decision to award Morgentaler with the Order of Canada, Essex MP Jeff Watson said, "This decision dishonours both our nation and the Order of Canada. The Order of Canada should be bestowed on those who seek to save and value life not on those who promote a culture of death."
  Watson went on to question Governor-General MichaĆ«lle Jean’s dedication to uniting Canadians, saying that because she has sole authority over the decision, her bestowal of the award upon Morgentaler demonstrates brazen disregard for the millions of Canadians who have been offended by the decision.

"This appalling and regrettable selection, solely that of the Governor-General to make, was rendered in the face of great proactive opposition by Canadians of all walks of life; a truly shocking act of disrespect and one which casts a doubt on the sincerity of the Governor-General’s stated mission to build bridges between Canadians.   Her legacy will be now one of having deepened wounds and fostered divisiveness on the day our nation celebrates its birth and during a joyous season of reconciliation with our First Nations brothers and sisters," said Watson.
  The MP blamed the decision in part on the Paul Martin legacy, a legacy which included the legalization of same-sex marriages: "Today, through his appointee for Governor-General, Mr. Martin has succeeded in politicizing the Order of Canada and in doing so diminishing its value and undermining our culture of life."
  Watson has called for a reversal of the decision.
  In a similar statement, Pierre Lemieux, Member of Parliament for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, said, "I am appalled and in complete disagreement with the announcement that Canada’s highest civilian honour, the Order of Canada, is to be granted to Henry Morgentaler."
  After explaining that the Order of Canada should be awarded to those who have made a "positive contribution" to Canada, he stated, "Henry Morgentaler has made neither a valuable nor a positive contribution to Canada.  I would argue that this highly controversial figure has done more to foster division amongst Canadians than any other person in living memory."
"In addition, he has most certainly weakened Canada by robbing our nation of its true potential - through the death of thousands of unborn Canadian children.  It is no wonder that so many Canadians across the country are outraged," concluded MP Lemieux.
  Lemieux asked all Canadians opposed to the decision to demand that Governor General MichaĆ«lle Jean and Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin (Chairperson of the Advisory Council of the Order of Canada) reverse the decision.

Dr. James Lunney, Member of Parliament for Nanaimo-Alberni, B.C., has also condemned the decision, saying it "debased" the award and "diminished the honour" of those who have received it in the past.

Dr. Lunney then pointed a finger at the advisory council, led by Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin and the Governor General, for honouring such a divisive figure, saying, they "displayed an uncommon arrogance, disdain and disrespect for those millions of Canadians" who oppose the decision.

"It seems the advisory council lacked the good grace and common sense to avoid a candidate who is clearly the antithesis of honourable to millions of Canadians and whose accomplishments are so deeply divisive," he finished.

Conservative MP and Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Rona Ambrose for Spruce Grove, Edmonton added her name to the growing list of MPs opposed to Morgentaler’s induction into the Order of Canada: "It is my opinion that in the eyes of most Canadians, the Order of Canada is usually bestowed on someone who has a story that unites us, not divides us."

Conservative MP Norm Doyle for St. John’s East, Newfoundland, also cited divisiveness as the reason he denounced the decision.

"Dr. Morgentaler, his contribution has been his fight to legalize abortion, which has really divided the country, so I don’t think it’s appropriate at all that he be given his Order," said Mr. Doyle.

"The award is not about causing division, so it’s not appropriate that this individual, given the fact that he has created such division in the country, should be given the award," he added.

In related news, David Anderson, Member of Parliament for Cypress Hills - Grasslands, says he is concerned with the lack of "transparency" in the decision, saying that all information that contributed to it, including the opinions and votes of the advisory council, should be fully disclosed to the Canadian public.

"Clearly making information available is in the best interest of Canadians," stated Mr. Anderson. "This is a public Council making a public decision. Council members should make themselves available. They made a controversial appointment that is being opposed by millions of Canadians."

  The following is a list of MPs who are known to have publicly spoken out against the decision to award the Order of Canada to Dr. Henry Morgentaler:

Conservative MP Jason Kenney, Calgary Southeast, Alberta
  Conservative MP Andrew Scheer, Regina-Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan
  Conservative MP Ken Epp, Sherwood Park, Edmonton
  Conservative MP Rod Bruinooge, Winnipeg South, Manitoba
  Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott, Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, Saskatchewan
  Liberal MP Dan McTeague, Pickering-Scarborough East, Ontario
  Liberal MP Paul Steckle, Huron-Bruce, Ontario
  Conservative MP Art Hanger, Calgary Northeast, Alberta
  Conservative MP Jeff Watson, Essex, Ontario
  Conservative MP Dr. James Lunney, Nanaimo-Alberni, B.C
  Conservative MP Pierre Lemieux, Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, Ontario
  Conservative MP David Anderson, Cypress Hills - Grasslands, Saskatchewan
  Conservative MP and Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Rona Ambrose, Spruce Grove, Edmonton
  Conservative MP Norm Doyle, St. John’s East, Newfoundland

  List of Who to Call, E-Mail, Write to Get the Morgentaler Appointment Revoked

See related coverage:

Numerous MPs Condemn Morgentaler Order of Canada Decision

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