Ontario Attorney General Ian Scott continues to insist that the province is powerless to close the Morgentaler abortuary. He is wrong and he is misleading Canadians.
Independent lawyers have confirmed that the correct legal avenue to harness Morgentaler and his co-conspirators from continuing their illegal activities is to apply to the courts for bail conditions to be imposed. However, Scott insists that this has already been done, bail conditions were refused (he is correct) and the courts cannot be asked to rule on another application (he is wrong).
The reason why bail conditions were refused in Ontario in July 1983 is that the judge ruled that Morgentaler should be given the benefit of the doubt – that it could not be automatically assumed that he intended to continue to break the law. The Judge explicitly added that, if Morgentaler and his associates did continue to break the law, “I would detain them by a simple straightforward detention order.”
The Attorney General also refers to a Manitoba court ruling where an injunction to close the Winnipeg abortuary was refused. Again, he discusses only the part of the judgment that backs up his own position. He neglects to mention that the Manitoba judge also pointed out that “the Criminal Code itself contains a well defined method for controlling the conduct of an accused between the time of laying the charges and the conduct of the trial… he may be held in custody or granted interim judicial release upon such terms as the court may direct.” That is, bail conditions would prevent him from conducting business as usual at the abortuary.
Why is Scott ignoring his legal remedies in this case. Perhaps he is; allowing his own personal bias to over-ride his legal duty. During the election campaign he was asked if he opposed private abortuaries in Ontario. His response, in writing was
“Yes, but only if every hospital in Ontario is required to produce therapeutic abortions at the request of the woman’s physician at OHIP rates.”
Scott is said to be an influential member of the Liberal cabinet. Apparently he gives Premier Petersen the same line as he gives pro-life picketers and the media. David Petersen is a lawyer, perhaps he should read the Ontario and Manitoba judgments for himself and reread legal texts on the application for bail conditions. We would also suggest that he study Judge Meen’s ruling that the daily killing in the Harbord Street abortuary is “murder,” performed “openly, blatantly and outside the law… while enjoying police protection.”
All law-abiding citizens should be appalled at this blatant attempt to fiddle with the truth.