Justice wept – and well it should.
Helen Burnie, David MacDonald, Dan McCash, who are they?
They’re heroes – heroes of the pro-life movement. All three were convicted recently in provincial court on trumped-up charges of assault and ordered to stay away from Morgentaler’s Toronto abortuary for 18 months. The conviction is being appealed by Angela Costigan, their lawyer, so they are free to continue their picketing. There were eleven charges origionally but five were dismissed and they were convicted of six. They are confident they will eventually win a dismissal of all the charges.
Judge Vanek viewed a black and white film, recorded on the video cameras mounted outside the abortuary, as evidence of the alleged assault. The film was so fuzzy that the judge could hardly make anything out of the images that he saw. I saw the film, too, and it reminded me of pictures taken by an early pinhole camera. It was very convenient for the prosecution because the film suddenly blurred on occasions.
The judge ruled that an “assault” had taken place on Bill Shane, employed by the abortuary, even though a fellow guard, David Butt, standing only a few feet away at the time didn’t come to his aid! Butt didn’t explain why he didn’t come to Shane’s aid, and we were left with the distinct impression that the reason he didn’t was because nothing really happened.
The crown counsel, under questioning by the judge, admitted that there were no bills available to prove the alleged “injuries.” (Shane claimed that he had been under chiropractic care since February of this year.) Still Judge Vanek ruled that there must have been an “assault”! Voices on the tape indicated that it was Helen Burnie who was attacked by Shane but all three were charged and convicted. Dan McCash was also convicted of assaulting Butt, by allowing John, his fifteen-year-old son, to shake a fence on the abortuary property when Butt was trying to close the gate with a chain. Butt claimed his fingers were injured but he presented no medical evidence to that effect. The judge, in spite of all the inconsistencies in their testimonies tended to believe the Morgentaler staff. Alice in Wonderland is alive and well and living in Ontario.
Sharon Levy-Hardaker, the executive administrator of the abortion mill, convinced the judge that she was “terrified” when she drove off with Dan McCash over the hood of her Cadillac, demonstrating a complete lack of concern for Dan’s well-being. The judge was more concerned about the car aerial that was broken off than about Dan, who narrowly avoided being run over and injured by Hardaker. Police testimony indicated that he did not fling himself on the car, as some witnesses said, but stood his ground, and the two films shown confirm this.
The Toronto Globe and Mail, who covered only the sentencing, gave the erroneous impression that the supposed “assault” involving women entering the abortuary not the guards and pro-lifers! So much for balance, facts and fair treatment from Canada’s national newspaper.
Yes, justice wept.
The judged failed to realize that a British Columbia television station had set it all up. They had the only good quality colour film taken of the alleged “mischief” proceedings, which they intended to use for a documentary to show what could happen if an abortuary opened in B.C.
The message that went out to B.C. viewers and abortionists alike was that there are courageous people like Helen Burnie, David MacDonald and Dan MacCash living in Ontario, who are not going to sit around on their hands watching the wholesale slaughter of unborn babies.
Dan MacCash, like a proud father, can often be seen showing off pictures of babies that he has personally saved. He, Helen Burnie and David MacDonald all ardent sidewalk counsellors, have saved a number of babies under the most difficult circumstances. Maybe this kind of success is the reason that they were in trouble.