Tory leadership candidate rips public library for banning his meeting with pro-lifers
SASKATOON, Saskatchewan, January 27, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — MP Brad Trost is crying foul after a Saskatoon public library cancelled a pro-life meeting scheduled there for this Saturday.
In a letter to organizers, Beth Cote, director of public services for the Saskatoon Public Library, stated the meeting was cancelled because of its “controversial nature.”
The library had also considered the Saskatoon Public Library’s “stance as a supporter and defender of both intellectual freedom and freedom of speech” in its decision, Cote wrote.
Trost, a staunchly pro-life MP and Conservative leadership candidate, denounced the decision as a ban that amounts to “muzzling Christians.”
“Cancelling this earnest discussion of policy because protesters threaten violence isn’t just anti-Christian, it’s anti-democratic,” he stated in a press release from Quebec City, where he’s attending the Tory caucus meeting.
“Could you imagine the uproar if the City of Saskatoon cancelled a pro-choice event because the Catholic Church objected?”
Trost found it “particularly galling” that the library cited “concern for freedom of speech” as a reason “to ban Christians from renting a public meeting room.”
“How does muzzling Christians preserve their right to speak? It’s an absurd argument,” he stated.
The meeting was booked before Christmas after a group of Christians approached Trost and said they “wanted to sit down with him and discuss some of their core issues,” Mike Patton, Trost's spokesman, told LifeSiteNews.
The group of both Catholics and Protestants “wanted to know what expectations are reasonable regarding abortion and euthanasia,” with a view to possibly supporting Trost in his leadership bid.
But “once you start talking to people, word gets out,” Patton said.
When abortion advocates got wind of the meeting, they started a Facebook page inviting people to protest. “Then they called the library and said, by the way we’re protesting, and we’re going to cause a big fuss,” Patton said.
“The reality is the people who were planning on attending the event are devout Christians, and the least likely people in the world to be a security issue,” he added. “So it was strictly the protesters who were threatening problems.”
That’s when, rather than call Trost’s organizers, the library sent a letter declaring its decision to cancel.
According to the Canadian Press, about 50 people signed on to attend the protest on the Facebook page, called “Protest Brad Trost and his anti-choice politics.”
Carol Cooley, the chief executive officer for Saskatoon’s libraries, denied the library was banning pro-life Christians.
“We’re just not equipped with staff, security, space to manage to a protest against Mr. Trost,” she told the Canadian Press.
“It has nothing to do with his views, we definitely back intellectual freedom and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It’s just a matter of, ‘Can we operationally handle the event and the resulting protest?’ And we really can’t.”
But Trost maintained that “if this was an environmental group with a bunch of unemployed oil-patch workers protesting, I don’t think they would be getting the boot.”
“This basically explains why I’m running,” he told the Canadian Press. “There are people in the country who don’t want room for social conservatives to even talk about their issues.”
Jack Fonseca, Campaign Life Coalition’s senior political strategist, says he applauds Trost for exposing the incident, which “demonstrates yet again that liberal progressives view pro-life Canadians as second class citizens, unworthy of equal treatment or even common decency.”
Added Fonseca: “It’s refreshing to see a Conservative finally stand up to them. Kind of like Donald Trump calling out progressive bias and exposing it for the world to see, Trost is doing the same.”
“This is just one small example amongst many where Trost has shown true conservative leadership,” he said. “So I would urge conservatives of all stripes to get behind Brad Trost’s campaign.”
Patton said Trost, who has been a Saskatoon MP since 2004, has no concern about the protestors, and would even likely recognize a number of them.
The meeting will now take place at the Sandman Hotel, he said.
“And the protestors will be there too.”
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