Opinion

January 6, 2012 (TheInterim.com) – Politically, this past year might have been one of the busiest we ever had. Campaign Life Coalition and its provincial wings were busy with the federal election, elections in five provinces, and local elections in British Columbia (and municipal elections in Ontario near the end of 2010). The Conservatives have a majority so there will not be a federal election until 2015. Although no provincial elections are scheduled for 2012, two provinces saw new premiers installed after the B.C. Liberals (Christy Clark) and Alberta Progressive Conservatives (Alison Redford) who might seek mandates of their own, and in Quebec Liberal premier Jean Charest could call an election any time. We do not expect the McGuinty government to fall this year, but with a minority no one knows for sure. We are prepared to be involved in these elections, but our focus is on working with elected officials in Ottawa and the provincial capitals, ascertaining where they stand and educating them about life and family issues.

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There are two issues we expect to have to deal with on the federal level. Brian Storseth’s private member’s bill, C-304, will be voted on early in the New Year. If passed, C-304 would rein in the Canada Human Rights Commission by removing Section 13 dealing with so-called hate speech. Also, with euthanasia and assisted-suicide before the British Columbia Supreme Court, we are now encouraging the federal Justice Minister to think about invoking the notwithstanding clause to over-ride the courts if they discover some “right” for the terminally ill and disabled to be killed.

Last May, we held the largest ever National March for Life in Ottawa and growing regional marches for life across the country. CLC Saskatchewan and Campagne Quebec Vie held provincial conferences, CLC Manitoba held a dinner, and CLC Ontario/CLC Toronto hosted four regional conferences and forums. We expect to host more provincial and regional conferences to get the pro-life message out to those who cannot easily get to a national conference. Of course, look forward to seeing the National March for Life continue to grow (who knows, perhaps even surpassing 20,000). We are also working to find new coordinators for 40 Days for Life in Toronto and elsewhere so that prayerful and life-affirming witness will continue to bless the pro-life movement.

We relaunched our website and have a revitalized CLC Youth. Both involve an almost unbelievable amount of work, but both of which are vitally necessary to reach out to new audiences.

CLC Youth hosted a Defund Abortion Rally and kicked off the Defund Abortion Campaign. We co-sponsored an Abacus Data poll with The Interim and LifeSiteNews.com to ascertain where Ontarians stood on taxpayer funding of abortion and found that the majority of the province opposes the status quo of funding all abortions for any reason. As the Christmas break approached, we were nearing 10,000 signatures on petitions demanding that abortion subsidies cease in Ontario and he have begun distributing “hammer pieces” in the ridings of pro-abortion NDP MPPs to step up the pressure. CLC groups in other provinces will take what CLC Youth in Ontario learns from the process and apply in their own defunding campaigns across the country.

We were active in Burnaby, British Columbia, encouraging voters to support pro-parent, pro-traditional morality school trustees on the Parents’ Voice ticket in a very important election in which the board’s “homophobia/heterosexism” policy was a key issue. Unfortunately, no one from the Parents’ Voice slate won election. In Ontario, we were involved in the Halton and Toronto Catholic school boards in an ultimately doomed attempt to fix the Equity & Inclusive Education policies being foisted upon them by the Ontario government. The battle is far from done and we will continue to work with parents groups, teachers, and trustees who are concerned with the attempts to expose children to, and normalize, homosexuality in our schools.

Of course, every year we also face challenges we could not foresee, for which we could not plan. But we see the pro-life movement building on recent successes, growing in both numbers and morale, and continuing our indispensible witness to the injustice of killing babies in their mother’s womb with the ultimate goal of ending the injustice entirely.

Jim Hughes is national president of Campaign Life Coalition.

This commentary originally appeared in the January 2012 issue of The Interim and is reprinted with permission

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