Thousands of pro-lifers head to Ottawa for Thursday’s National March for Life
OTTAWA, May 11, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Campaign Life Coalition is calling on pro-life Canadians to break attendance records at tomorrow’s 19th annual March for Life on Parliament Hill, and so send a resounding message to parliamentarians and the nation to “End the Killing.”
Organized by CLC, the political arm of the pro-life movement, the March for Life is the country’s largest annual pro-life event.
Last year an estimated 25,000 people converged on the nation’s capital to mark Canada’s “day of infamy” — May 14, 1969.
“In 1969, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau passed the Omnibus Bill that paved the way for abortion on demand in Canada which has resulted in the killing of millions of pre-born babies,” Jim Hughes, CLC’s national president, told reporters at a Wednesday morning press conference.
This will be the first March for Life to hit Parliament Hill since Trudeau’s son Justin — arguably a far more doctrinaire promoter of abortion than his late father — swept into power with a Liberal majority six months ago.
This Trudeau now “is on the verge of passing yet another deadly milestone – the legalization of euthanasia and assisted-suicide. This is not the Canada that our predecessors envisioned,” Hughes pointed out.
Indeed, as a dramatic backdrop to several prayer vigils scheduled Wednesday night so people may prepare their “hearts and minds” to take “a public stand against the slaughter of innocent children” in Thursday’s March for Life, the House justice committee is meeting the same evening for what is expected to be its final clause-by-clause consideration of the Liberals’ controversial euthanasia bill.
Bill C-14 is a response to the Supreme Court’s Carter decision striking down the law prohibiting assisted suicide and euthanasia, a ruling that comes into effect June 6.
And given that the Trudeau Liberals are also committed to funding abortion overseas, CLC has invited Nigeria-born Obianuju (Uju) Ekeocha, founder and president of Culture of Life Africa, to speak on the dire consequences of this Liberal foreign policy decision, which CLC describes as a Canadian taxpayer-funded “death sentence for Africa.”
Ekeocha, who resides in the UK, will speak at the pre-March rally, and give the keynote address at Thursday evening’s Rose Dinner. She spoke Tuesday to a group of pro-life parliamentarians at a senators breakfast meeting hosted by Conservative Senators Don Plett, Betty Unger, Tobias C. Enverga Jr., and Norman Doyle and attended by a number of pro-life MPs.
The May 11 services include a 7:00 vigil hosted by the Sisters of Life at St. Augustine's Parish, 7:30 Mass at St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Parish, and a 7:30 Orthodox prayer service Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church.
A candlelight prayer vigil for the victims of abortion will be held at 9:00 p.m. at the Canadian Tribute to Human Rights Monument, and all-night Eucharistic adoration at St. Patrick’s Basilica begins 10:00 p.m. and ends with Mass 7:00 a.m. Thursday.
Two prayer services and four Masses are scheduled at 10:00 a.m. Thursday.
A Reformed Christian prayer Service will be held at First Baptist Church, sponsored by the Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA) Canada and the Jubilee Church; and an Anglican Worship service at Sts. Peter and Paul Anglican Church.
The two English-language Masses will be held at St. Patrick’s Basilica (presider and homilist Kingston’s Bishop Brendan O’Brien) and St. Therese of the Child Jesus Parish (presider Ottawa’s Bishop Christian Riesbeck, homilist Bishop John Pazak); the French-language Mass at Cathédrale Saint-Joseph (presider and homilist Gatineau’s Bishop Paul-André Durocher) and the bilingual Mass at Notre Dame Cathedral (presider Ottawa’s Bishop Terrence Prendergast, homilist Toronto’s Cardinal Thomas Collins).
The May 12 march is preceded by a noon rally on Parliament Hill, with addresses by a number of pro-life leaders, parliamentarians, bishops and religious leaders.
The march begins 1:30 p.m., and the typically exuberant, enthusiastic participants wend their way through busy downtown Ottawa in a jubilant witness to the sanctity of human life, finally returning to Parliament Hill.
A “Silent No More Awareness” presentation on the Hill, during which women will speak about their abortion and how it has affected them is scheduled for 2:45 p.m.
The march concludes with a 4:00 prayer service at the Eternal Flame Monument on Parliament Hill, led by Fr.Teodosy Kraychuk and the Eastern Catholic Chaplaincy of Ottawa.
The Rose Dinner begins Thursday at 6 p.m., as does a youth banquet featuring speaker and writer Matt Walsh. CLC is also hosting an all-day youth conference Friday May 13.
“The March for Life, which is in its 19th year, continues to attract more and more Canadians who are becoming fed up with their views being stifled and ignored by legislators,” said Mary Ellen Douglas, national organizer for Campaign Life Coalition.
“On May 12th, the thousands of Canadians who will march in Ottawa and in various provincial capitals across Canada will make sure that their belief in the right to life as a fundamental human right will be heard.”
There are provincial Marches scheduled in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Alberta, and B.C.