On January 15, 1987 Secretary of State David Crombie (PC, Toronto Rosedale) refused REAL Women a sustaining grant for operations of an office and office staff. The Tories have spent millions ($11 million in the past year alone) on annual subsidies to women’s groups, many controlled by pro-abortionist and pro-lesbian feminists. But they cannot find money for pro-family, pro-life women.
In this letter to REAL Women – which reached the press before it reached them – Crombie acknowledged that in the past the organization had not been given “competent, fair and courteous treatment by government officials.” This referred to the fact that when REAL Women asked for a grant application from the women’s programme in Crombie’s department, they got no response whatever. After waiting for over a year they wrote again, this time under the fictional name of the National Association of Lesbian Mothers. They received the form within a week, with an accompanying handwritten note extending a warm welcome and promising immediate action on any request they might make.
Crombie gave two reasons for refusing an operating grant. He acknowledged that the existing Women’s Programme was being criticized, but was of the opinion that while it is under review by the House of Commons’ Standing Committee, the rules should not be changed. He did not indicate how many years the review would take.
Secondly, Mr. Crombie claimed that there was a policy under which applicants must first establish a “track record of project management,” before applying for a general sustaining grant.
When REAL Women applied for a “project grant” in 1984, they were turned down. As the rules are to remain, it is difficult to see how a new application can be approved. Since the Tories deny REAL Women a sustaining grant, because there is no “track record” of managing a project grant, REAL Women find themselves in a Catch 22 situation.
This, presumably, is where the Tories want to be.
The explanation for this latest rebuff of this pro-life, pro-family women’s group by the federal Tories must be sought in the stranglehold feminists have on policy, the bureaucracy and the media. REAL Women have been subject to a campaign of defamation on a scale unprecedented in modern Canadian history.
Only a week before Crombie’s letter Toronto Star columnist Lois Sweet claimed that REAL Women “didn’t seem to stand for anything except increasing the power of men. It advocated handing control of women’s fertility over to men – as well as promoting servitude in the home,” she said. As Sweet continued, her language got stronger:
“From what’s been said, REAL Women wants a monolithic, totally heterosexual, sexually ignorant … fascist society.”
On the weekend preceding David Crosbie’s refusal, the president of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women, Louise Dulude, a long time Morgentaler supporter, issued a declaration of war on REAL Women. At NAC’s mid-year conference in London, Ontario, on January 10-11, she announced that there would be “no more of this lady-like attitude that women shouldn’t fight in public.” This, of course, was an extraordinarily untruthful statement by the head of an organization which has vilified every move and statement of REAL Women over the last three years, especially, and above all, its anti-abortion stand.
The weekend conference of 300 supporters also went on record in favour of state daycare and against subsidizing daycares. Furthermore, delegates heard Morgentaler’s colleague, abortionist Nikki Colodny, announced that “Canadian women can’t afford to rely on the Supreme Court of Canada to guarantee them access to legal abortion in clinics.”
This declaration of war against the Canadian legal system was followed by further announcement of how to destroy existing law, namely by opening another Morgentaler-type clinic in Vancouver within the year. (“Abortion issue for politics not law, says clinic doctor,” London Free Press, Jan 12, 1987). No other Canadian paper picked up this second declaration of war, editors being too delighted to report the first one.
A final kick against REAL Women was delivered by Susan Pigg, member of the Toronto Star’s editorial board, who on January 15 added her own warm congratulations to NAC’s “declaration of war” in a guest column in the Lifestyle section of the newspaper. She thought it might be the best thing that could have happened to NAC. The latter, she admitted had begun to lose young women and homemakers, but, she said, that was more due to success than lack of it. The declaration of war would now rally the rank and file on behalf of a noble movement. As an illustration of the nobility of NAC’s quest on behalf of women, she pointed to the fact that the organization, after all , pursued “safe abortions.”
With pressure of this kind, it is little wonder that the Tories, divided among themselves, decided once more against support for a pro-family women’s group.
Since the September 1984 election which brought them to power, the federal Tories have been unable to develop a social policy of their own in harmony with the historical precedents of true conservatism. Instead, the so-called “Red Tories” have successfully continued the anti-family, anti-child policies of their Liberal predecessors, in opposition, one might note, to the views of many of their own backbenchers.
Liberals legalized contraceptives, abortion and homosexuality and widened the grounds for divorce. They allowed an ever growing stream of pornography into the country. They created a Charter of Rights which emphasizes individual rights to the detriment of social and community rights. They suggested scrapping the tax exemption of dependent spouses who were homemakers, in favour of more government aid for institutional daycare.
The red Tories took up where the Liberals left off. Women’s affairs were placed in the hands of committed feminists of the philosophy of Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem. In 1985 the Tories further widened divorce grounds, providing divorce on request after one year’s separation. In the spring of 1986 they promised to open the Armed Forces, RCMP and the federal bureaucracy to self-acknowledged homosexuals. Important positions were given to people who had always rejected “conservatism” in the strongest of terms (Stephen Lewis, Sylvia gold, Dennis McDermott, Ian Deans, et al)
It is clear today, that the September 1984 Tory landslide has failed the Tories’ many supporters in many areas. The Mulroney government does not know the value of tradition, nor the tradition of values. In a secular society it is drifting down the river with the current. Pro-family men and women now have no political allies anywhere at all. They will have to look elsewhere.