Tony Gosgnach
The Interim

The battle to bring back the traditional definition of marriage in Canada is NOT over.

That was the message brought loudly and clearly to hundreds of attendees at the 2005 National Pro-Life Conference in Montreal by Pat O’Brien, the independent – and formerly Liberal – MP for the riding of London-Fanshawe, Ont. He spoke along with other Canadian political figures at a forum on, “The Commitment and Responsibility of Politicians in the Service of Life and Family.”

O’Brien, who was greeted with a standing ovation, devoted a large part of his address to denouncing the Paul Martin government’s maneuverings in foisting gay “marriage” on the country and the corrupt manner used to try to legitimize the bill in the public eye. He charged the committee process – with which he was involved and which was supposed to soberly assess the merits and demerits of the gay “marriage” bill – was “an absolute farce.” The committee didn’t even get a chance to submit a final report, he said.

O’Brien noted he has received widespread backing for his decision to leave the Liberal party and sit as an independent over the marriage issue. “I’ve had (support) from across the country and from outside the country,” he said, adding that communications to his office were running about 90 per cent in his favour. “I’ve never had a moment’s regret.”

O’Brien, who has announced he won’t be running in the next election, is now turning his attention to trying to fix what was broken when his former party shoved gay “marriage” onto the country. He’s teaming with former MP and medical doctor Grant Hill to put the marriage issue onto the agenda for the upcoming federal election campaign. Their goal is to not only re-establish the correct definition of marriage, but also to enshrine it in the Constitution.

“People of faith are intimidated into silence by the ridiculous notion of separation of church and state,” he said. “People of faith are all too passive, all too silent.” The media, he noted, add to the problem by only tolerating people of faith if they sit and remain quiet. But the fact that even more serious moral issues are coming at us – legal prostitution, polygamy, cloning and embryonic research, among others – means that now is precisely not the time for people of faith to go to sleep, said O’Brien.

Noted pro-life MP Stockwell Day, who represents Okanagan-Coquihalla in B.C. and served a term as leader of the now-defunct Alliance party, preceded O’Brien to the podium and was also given a standing ovation. He focused his talk on the necessity to preserve freedom of speech in Canada, which he said was being threatened on several fronts.

Day noted that even though Canada is officially a democracy, it can still be “a society of fear,” as exemplified by the campaign of leftist groups to “abort” the pro-life conference. In equating the tactics of the anti-conference protesters to that of terrorists, he urged pro-life advocates to stand firm and refuse to be intimidated. “We cannot allow extremists in groups to captivate the whole thing,” he said. If pro-lifers bow to intimidation, “the terrorists win. We can’t allow that to happen.”

Day said that even though pro-abortionists were the ones threatening violence and pro-lifers were the ones meeting peacefully and prayerfully, it is the latter group that is often depicted as being narrow and hateful. He blamed the media for perpetuating that myth.
“Report the full spectrum!” on life issues, Day cried. He said the media carry a heavy responsibility, yet often fall short in areas such as reporting on the negative after-effects of abortion on women.

Also speaking at the forum were Ghislain Lebel, a former Bloc Quebecois MP and a candidate for the leadership of the provincial Parti Quebecois, and Michel Belanger, an official with the relatively new Christian Democratic Party of Quebec.