TORONTO, June 3, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Ontario branch of the Knights of Columbus, representing 515 councils made up of 56,000 members, is urging its members to withdraw support from the Liberal Party of Canada over leader Justin Trudeau’s stance on barring pro-life candidates from running in his party’s “open” nominations.
“It appears that Mr. Trudeau has drawn a line in the sand on this matter and is not about to change,” wrote Ontario State Deputy Kevin Daudlin to Ontario councils in an email obtained by LifeSiteNews.
Daudlin said that while the Knights do not get involved in “partisan politics,” there are certain issues where “we need to take a stand.”
In an interview with LifeSiteNews Daudlin said Trudeau’s stance is “very undemocratic,” and argued that being “pro-choice” ought to mean that he should allow people to decide for themselves.
“He’s not really giving people a ‘choice’ at all if you want to be a candidate in his party,” he said. “Nobody has the right to tell people how they should think and how they should [vote].”
Daudlin said Mr. Trudeau’s abortion edict has undermined the Knights’ trust in the Liberal leader to make the right “judgment call” on important matters. “If he’s going to start making decisions like this, then, what’s next? When is he going to start saying: ‘You’re not allowed to do this, you’re not allowed to do that?’”
The Knights of Columbus have a long history of championing the right to life of the unborn.
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“As Catholics and Knights of Columbus, we are called to continually promote, develop and defend a Culture of Life that values life from the moment of conception to natural death,” the Ontario Knights’ website states.
The organization’s pro-life activities include letter-writing campaigns to MPs and fundraising for pro-life events. For example, they have sponsored buses to the annual March for Life in Ottawa for many years.
In his e-mail, Daudlin urged Knights of Columbus members to contact local Liberal MPs to “let them know that we do not agree with Justin Trudeau's stance,” but added that a “more powerful” message could be sent by individual members if they withheld their financial support from the party.
“The Liberals are preparing for the next election and are busy soliciting money. By withholding membership fees and donations to the Liberal Party, individual K of C members would send a powerful message – particularly when we tell them why,” he wrote.
The Knights of Columbus’ stance comes after at least six Catholic bishops across Canada have denounced Trudeau’s position in homilies, open letters, and articles submitted to mainstream media.
Last week Forum Research found a 3 percent drop in support for both the Liberal Party and its leader Mr. Trudeau. Forum Research President Lorne Bozinoff attributed the loss directly to Trudeau’s “restrictions on Liberal candidates with pro-life views.”
Bozinoff’s interpretation was disputed by Campaign Life Coalition’s Jack Fonseca, however, who noted that the same poll showed a three percent jump in support for the strongly pro-abortion New Democratic Party.
LifeSiteNews asked the Liberal Party for its reaction to losing support from the Ontario Knights over Mr. Trudeau’s abortion edict, but did not hear back by press time.