In addition to more than 15,000 Canadians who took part in the National March for Life in Ottawa on May 12, over 3000 more participated in provincial marches for life held across the country on the same day, in solidarity with the one taking place in the nation’s capital.
Local marches were held in the provincial capitals.
LifeSiteNews.com reported that many provinces set attendance records and that organizers saw an increase in the number of youth and young families joining their marches.
There were 30 participants in St. John’s, 80 in Halifax, 325 in Winnipeg, 400 in Regina, 475 in Edmonton, and more than 2000 in Victoria. Numbers were not available from Fredericton, but they usually attract up to 400 people, as well as members of Legislative Assembly.
In Victoria, Archbishop Michael Miller of Vancouver told the crowd, “it’s certainly inspiring to see the enthusiasm of young people and to have the sense that things indeed can change. This can become a culture of life.”
In addition to attracting local bishops, many provincial marches brought in guest speakers, including women involved in Silent No More, international pro-life speaker Rebecca Kiessling and Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (Victoria), former magazine publisher Ted Byfield (Edmonton), Jojo Ruba of the Canadian Center for Bio-Ethical Reform (Regina), and Halifax 40 Days for Life organizer Julie Culshaw (Fredericton).
Like the national march, the provincial marches are increasingly getting noticed in the media. The St. John’s Telegram had a page-two photo of the crowd. However, some papers focused on supposed controversy.
The Regina Leader-Post reported that some demonstrators held signs of aborted babies and that the graphic images upset some passers-by, although police did not report any complaints and affirmed the right to peaceful protest.