There were marches for life from coast to coast the week of May 14 to help mark the 40th anniversary of the passing of the Omnibus Bill that legalized abortion in 1969.
2000 people walk through the streets of Victoria during the second B.C. March for Life
The largest was in Victoria, B.C., where at least 2000 people took part in the second B.C. March for Life, doubling the previous year’s numbers. Addressing the B.C. march were Victoria Bishop Richard Gagnon, Vancouver Archbishop Michael Miller, Rabbi Daniel Lapin from Washington and B.C. Senator Gerry St. Germain (Cons.). Archbishop Miller said that “the fundamental building block of a just, social order is respect for life,” and Bishop Gagnon called abortion “a wound in our society and culture.” Bishop Gagnon stressed that “we must not be timid” in the defense of life.
In Winnipeg, 350 people took part a march from the Forks Market to the Manitoba legislature. Speakers included Gladys Hayward-Williams, a legislative assistant to MLA Ron Schuler, Heather Robinson, the development officer at League for Life Manitoba, and Pastor Baron of the West End Christian Community Church.
Organizers for the second March for Life in Edmonton say that there were at least 500 people in the Alberta capital. Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton called upon legislators to protect all human life. Edmonton Eparch David Motiuk, Calgary Bishop Fred Henry and St. Paul Bishop Luc Bouchard also addressed the pro-life audience. Marchers followed a six kilometer route from the provincial legislature – where the flag was at half mast in remembrance of the aborted babies – to city hall and back.
In Saskatchewan there was the annual March for Life Mother’s Day Walk in Saskatoon which attracted 300 people and the March for Life in Regina which had 400 participants. Taking part in the Regina march was Archbishop Daniel Bohan, Saskatoon Bishop Albert LeGatt of Saskatoon, Bishop Bryan Bayda of the Saskatoon Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy.
In Halifax, 100 people took part in a prayer vigil on May 13 and a rally on May 14. Among the speakers were Pastor Jeff Lutes of Harvesters Media Group and Anita Durette, who spoke about her two teenage abortions. Julie Culshaw, co-ordinator for the Halifax 40 Days for Life and Ellen Chesal, executive director of Campaign Life Coalition NS, presented petitions with the signatures of 1,600 Nova Scotians objecting to taxpayer funding of abortion.
At least 200 people gathered at Province House near St. Dunstan’s Basilica in Charlottetown.
In Charlottetown, about 200 people came out for the second annual PEI March for Life. Speakers included Marion Marshall, president of PEI Catholic Women’s League, Alvin Curley, state deputy PEI Knights of Columbus, Fr. Danny Wilson, rector of St. Dunstan’s Basilica and past president of Priests for Life Canada, and Hemke Vanderzwaag, president of PEI Right to Life Association.
About 40 people attended the Newfoundland March for Life in St. John’s. Speakers included Msgr Frances Puddister, Maurice Lewis, state deputy of the Knights of Columbuis, Agnes Kenney, provincial president of the Catholic Women’s League, Linda Holden vice president of Newfoundland and Labrador Right to Life, Colette Fleming, executive director of NL Right to Life, and Patrick Hanlon, past president of NL Right to Life.
In Fredericton, 300 people including 17 MLAs took part in the march for life, including Liberal Health Minister Mike Murphy and Conservative opposition leader David Alward. Demonstrators placed 250 red roses in memory of the 25,000 babies killed by abortion in New Brunswick since the procedure was legalized 40 years ago.