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OTTAWA (LifeSiteNews) — A pro-abortion, self-described “atheist” is running to become a trustee for the Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB) in Monday’s Ontario municipal elections. 

“Husband & Father. Pro-choice, sex-ed, climate change, fight for teachers and students and yes, I’m an Atheist. Running for Ottawa Catholic School Board Zone 5,” reads OCSB candidate Marc Belisle’s Twitter profile. 

Reacting to Belisle’s public profile, director of political operations at Campaign Life Coalition, Jack Fonseca, said such a candidate should not be tolerated within the Catholic school system. 

As an enthusiastic advocate for murdering babies in the womb, Belisle’s election would be a devastating blow to the pro-life movement and to the Catholic identity of the OCSB,” Fonseca told LifeSiteNews by email last Thursday. 

“One of the many reasons this man’s continued candidacy on the ballot cannot be tolerated is because his pro-baby murder beliefs are in stark opposition to the pro-life doctrine of the Catholic Church, and by extension, of the Ottawa Catholic School Board, which exists to inculcate students with the Catholic faith, in its entirety,” added the pro-life director. 

Fonseca further stated that if Belisle does get elected as trustee, it would be dangerous for the pro-life, pro-Catholic values that a Catholic school ought to be imparting on its students. 

The future of the pro-life movement is largely the Catholic students in those classrooms,” he told LifeSiteNews. “Those children are the ones whom the older members of the pro-life movement are counting on to carry the torch one day.” 

If a pro-abortion atheist trustee who seems to hate the Catholic Church and her doctrines is able to influence students with his views, it could turn Ottawa into a spiritual wasteland where neither the Catholic faith nor a pro-life community can be found,” he continued. 

Fonseca also said that on such an important issue as this, it would be important for the Archbishop of the Diocese of Ottawa, His Excellency Marcel Damphousse, to get involved, and outlined five possible steps the archbishop could take to address the scandal:

  1. Demand that Ottawa’s city clerk deem the atheist ineligible to run for Catholic school trustee, and remove him from the ballot. 
  2. Pick up the phone to the atheist and ask him to voluntarily go to the city clerk and request to have his name withdrawn. 
  3. File an emergency lawsuit against the Office of the City Clerk, if necessary, in order to obtain a court order to declare the atheist ineligible to run for Catholic school trustee. If it can’t be done before October 24th, then take legal action after that date to nullify the atheist’s candidacy. 
  4. Issue a public warning to all Ottawa Catholic electors about the ineligibility of the atheist, and an episcopal order not to vote for him. 
  5. Launch a public relations campaign using the archdiocesan social media accounts, website, and a press release, to apply pressure on the City Clerk’s Office to disqualify the atheist. 

“I’m just a lowly Catholic layperson, and I’d take all these actions in a heartbeat if I were able,” Fonseca said. “As the leader of the Catholic Church in Ottawa, there’s no reason he can’t.” 

LifeSiteNews reached out to the Archdiocese of Ottawa to inquire about the situation and was told by the executive assistant to the archbishop, Fr. Geoff Kerslake, that the “archbishop has done what he can to address this issue” but could not reveal any specific details. 

For Monday’s elections, CLC has released a voter guide to help Ontarians find candidates who share their pro-life and pro-family values.