Tens of thousands of pro-life postcards supporting M 312 backlogged at Parliament post office
OTTAWA, Ontario, September 19, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Tens of thousands of postcards mailed to Canadian Members of Parliament this summer in support of Motion 312 have clogged the House of Commons mail system and might not be delivered until after the upcoming vote.
News of the inundation comes a little more than a week before Parliament’s scheduled September 26 vote on Motion 312, which would establish a special committee to examine the humanity of the unborn child. Those who submitted the postcards are now left wondering if their MPs will hear their voice.
“When the MPs are faced with a vote, and don’t know that their constituents have asked them to vote in a certain way, then that will come back to bite them at election time,” said Miles Driedger, founder of MP Postcards, to LifeSiteNews.
Heather Bradely, director of communications for the Speakers Office in the House of Commons told LifeSiteNews, however, that “there is no backlog in our mail system.”
“The mail is being process in the usual manner,” she said. “Everything has to be scanned, sorted, and then it is forwarded to the owner of the mail. There is no back log for sure.”
But her assurances come amidst confirmed reports that MPs have not been receiving the postcards, and that the post office that feeds the mail to Parliament has been completely inundated.
Marcel Marengere, Supervisor for the Belfast Post Office, where mail to Parliament first arrives, told LifeSiteNews that his postal location has been swamped by the postcards for weeks.
“I don’t have the staff to do all this kind of stuff plus the regular mail,” he said. “I am receiving 10,000 [postcards] a day.”
Marengere said that he and his staff of four “do a little bit every day” but that it could take up to “one or two weeks” to sort out and deliver all the stockpiled postcards. But with more postcards arriving each day, he says that he will have to “work overtime” if the job is to “get done”.
Marengere guessed that there are tens of thousands of postcards that await sorting and delivery.
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Driedger and his wife Alyssa started MP Postcards earlier this year to help bolster support for MP Steven Woodworth’s motion. Every postcard sent, Driedger says, acts as a “voice for unborn children” to government officials who are “responsible for their protection”.
One postcard reads: “MP Stephen Woodworth’s Motion 312 is the sort of thing Canadians stand for…JUSTICE. When we find out that our criminal code gives not rights or protections to the most vulnerable members of our families we rise up and speak. When you vote on Motion 312 this fall remember my voice.”
Driedger said that he started the campaign not expecting such a huge response. So far, 69,000 postcards have been printed and most, if not all, have been sent in by Motion-312 supporters across the country.
“As the public became more aware of Motion 312 and the criminal code that it addresses, they were looking for a way to contact MPs that was both meaningful, creative, and was simple for them to use,” said Driedger.
The MP Postcard project was an easy solution.
“Some people wrote each MP,” he said, adding that there were “many organized events where hundreds of people signed postcards to their own MP as well as to Stephen Harper.”
Driedger said that he began to be concerned that the postcards were not getting through when he contacted his own MP Blake Richards to ask how many postcards he had received.
“I had personally sent over 100 postcards to Mr. Richards from a group signing we held in our church. Since the postcards had been mailed back in July, I assumed they had been received long ago, but when they told me they hadn’t received them at all, I knew something was wrong.”
Several other MP’s contacted by Driedger also said that the postcards were not getting through.
MP Stephen Woodworth told Driedger that “the volume of messages received through this postcard campaign has tested the limits of the House of Commons postal service”.
Woodworth said that he was “grateful to the organizers [of the campaign] for energizing so many tens of thousands of Canadians to stand up in defence of universal human rights by supporting Motion 312.”
Driedger hopes that “all of the postcards make it through to MPs in time.”
“People all across Canada invested a lot of time and energy into them. However, whether Motion 312 passes or not, one of the biggest positives we have seen through this project is the many Canadians who, for the first time, are taking the opportunity to share their voice with Parliament.”
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