OTTAWA, Mar 22, 2001 ( – Preston Manning, the founder of the Reform Party of Canada which evolved into the Canadian Alliance has announced he is stepping down from politics. A press release from Calgary says he will “retire from public life by the end of this calendar year.”

While Preston Manning has raised the hopes of pro-lifers in Canada he has also been a disappointment, insisting that issues of life be decided by referenda, as if the life of the unborn could be subject to a majority vote.

Perhaps the high point of Preston Manning’s term as Leader of the Official Opposition for pro-lifers came in October 1999. In a 90-minute speech in the House of Commons, Manning reaffirmed the Reform Party’s social conservative values including the “sanctity of life,” the “traditional family,”“religious liberty,” and confronting Charter-spawned “judicial activism.” Regarding abortion, Manning told the government: “It might start at the beginning, if it had the moral nerve, by defining the rights of the unborn.”

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