Ottawa – Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s cabinet shuffle of June 30, 1986,has ousted Walter McLean, Minister in charge of the Status of Women, from the cabinet. Women’s affairs now fall under Barbara McDougall, Minister of State for Privatization, a new portfolio.
John Crosbie, now moved to Transport, was replaced in the Justice Ministry by Ray Hnatyshyn. Both McDougall and Hnatyshyn accept the killing of the unborn as a woman’s right, though neither of them has given this issue a high profile. Hnatyshyn has been hostile to the pro-life movement in the past and it remains to be seen what will happen to John Crosbie’s proposed legislation against pornography.
Killing centers saved by strike
Toronto – The Ontario doctors’ strike has made the Scott and Morgentaler abortion centers “invulnerable to prosecution,” Toronto Sun columnist Lorrie Goldstein observed (June 24). Just weeks ago, he wrote, police were gearing up to charge Scott’s newly-opened clinic and Morgentaler was offering to have police witness an abortion to prevent the necessity of a raid. Today, with referrals from doctors whose clients have been unable to get legal abortions on account of the strike, Scott, Colodny and Morgentaler could plead defence of necessity, police feel. Consequently, all efforts to lay charges have been postponed.
Ontario NDP and abortion
Hamilton – Pro-abortion advocate Judy Rebick received 31 per cent of the vote in her attempt to win the presidency of the Ontario NDP at its convention held recently in Hamilton. Rebick belongs to the Marxist faction in the party and is best known as spokesman for Morgentaler’s Toronto abortion centre.
One reason for running, Rebick claimed, was to ensure the party’s continuing support for illegal free-standing abortion centers, throughout the province. In reality, the party is already 100 per cent committed to the free killing of the unborn. The June 1986 convention re-confirmed NDP for abortion on demand. In May, leader Rob Rae hailed the opening of the second abortion centre under the direction of Robert Scott. On the day after the convention, in the Ontario legislature, Rae demanded protection for the abortion centers. At the convention, Bob Rae received a thunderous, standing ovation.
Ottawa – Louise Dulude has succeeded Chaviva Hosek as president of the National Action Committee on the National Action Committee on the Status of Woman (NAC), not to be confused with the Advisory Council on the Status of Women, a federally-financed women’s council.
Dulude, 42, converted to feminism while working as director of a legal aid clinic in east- end Montreal, according to the Toronto Star (May 22). Among the reports she has authored are those calling for repeal of the abortion law, equal division of assets after divorce, pension reform and income tax reform.
On June 1, 1986, NAC took an “historical” step when it voted to help prostitutes in their fight to legalize prostitution, according to NAC executive member Lorraine Greaves, sociologist, of London, Ontario. The Canadian Organization for Rights of Prostitutes (CORP) became a member of NAC in the fall of 1985.
Winnipeg – Western Canada’s third, and Manitoba’s first, test-tube baby clinic is to be opened in Winnipeg this fall, according to the Western Report (June 16). The project was turned down by St. Boniface Hospital on the grounds that the methods employed in these clinics are morally unacceptable and legally dubious. Among the problems in these donor sperm, donor embryos, surrogate carriers; sperm, ova and embryos kept frozen for future use; impregnation of single women and of lesbian partners; and especially the experimentation with and killing of human embryos. There is also the irony of spending millions on fertility technology while thousands of unborn babies are killed in the same city and province.
Ottawa – Infant euthanasia is to be promoted for seriously handicapped newborn babies, say Joseph Magnet and Eike-Henner Kluge in Withholding Treatment from Defective Newborns. Magnet is an Ottawa lawyer and university professor who is said to be a constitutional expert, and Kluge a philosophy professor at the University of Victoria.
Magnet and Kluge note that various methods, such as a starving or dehydrating newly-born handicapped babies are already in use but appear too inefficient. As they put it, “a society which tortures defective infants to death by starvation or dehydration – while praising itself on the humanity of its refusal to provide death actively – evidences bizarre contradictions.” Hence, they advise legalizing quick, clean killing.
In 1980, Joseph Magnet, retained as a legal consultant by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops in Ottawa, advised against seeking protection for the unborn in the Charter, as proposed in the Campaign Life brief.
Armed Forces pressured
Ottawa – The Chief of Defence staff, General Gerard Theriault, had to submit to a grilling by Liberal MP Sheila Copps (Hamilton-East), and NDP MP Svend Robinson (Burnaby) in a Commons Committee hearing about the lack of progress in hiring homosexuals in the armed forces. Copps also pressed for women in combat roles (Globe, June 18).
Homosexuals and lesbians are still banned from the services, the General explained. However, with the initiative of Justice Minister John Crosbie in March this year, to force the RCMP and the armed forces to open their ranks to homosexuals, the directive may eventually have to be withdrawn.
Robinson accused the General of running the “last bastion of sexism and homophobia.”