from-the-editors-deskHere is another installment of what didn’t make the paper this issue, with three disturbing items. One is about Toronto’s garbage collection plan that adversely affects large families, another is about the totalitarian impulse of environmental extremists and the last about abortionist Garson Romalis’s comments on why he enjoys being an abortion doctor.

Garson Romalis

At the University of Toronto’s “symposium” on the Supreme Court’s Morgentaler decision, Vancouver abortionist Garson Romalis spoke. The National Post reprinted his talk under the title, “Why I am an abortion doctor” (Feb. 4). There was the usual stuff about how he saw the (alleged) gruesome consequences of illegal abortions and consequently dedicated himself to providing women “safe and legal” abortions. But there were two lines that sent chills down my back.

He said, “I can take a woman, in the biggest trouble she has ever experienced in her life, and by performing a five-minute operation, in comfort and dignity, I can give her back her life.”

I disagree with calling an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy “the biggest trouble” in a woman’s life; it may appear to be so at that moment, but it really is not. I also abhor the diminishing of abortion as nothing more than a “five-minute operation;” rather than describing the violence involved in destroying and removing the unborn child, he makes the procedure sound no more significant than getting an ear pierced.

I do not believe that the rooms in which abortions are committed are truly comfortable and dignified, not when I read the Los Angeles Times story we describe elsewhere in this issue. But the most galling part of that disgusting and untruthful sentence is that Romalis “can give her back her life.” Ignore, for the moment, the life he snuffs out. What I am taken aback by is the God complex Romalis demonstrates in his stated belief that he can give life to women through the abortion procedure.

The second line is the talk’s conclusion, in which he describes “the professional and personal satisfaction” he got when a young woman approached him and said: “Dr. Romalis, you won’t remember me, but you did an abortion on me in 1992. I am a second-year medical student and if it weren’t for you I wouldn’t be here now.” My stomach turned when I read that, because my thoughts turned to the countless children’s lives exterminated in Romalis’s 36-year career as an abortionist. I wonder about those who cannot tell him, “If it weren’t for you, I would be here now.”

Toronto’s trash

Toronto’s plan to have households pay for garbage bins – from $199 for a one-bag bin to $399 for a 4.5-bag bin with two medium-sized options – will punish larger families. But Toronto City Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker doesn’t care. “This is the fairest system we have,” he claims. “Larger families create more garbage than smaller families. That’s the reality.”

Or at least, part of the reality. Of course larger families create more garbage, but on a per-person basis, larger families produce less garbage.

The current city plan makes all households pay the same price for new garbage collection receptacles without differentiating how many people live in the household. A fairer system would permit payment on a per-person basis, recognizing that intact, larger households are more efficient producers of garbage.

The city of Toronto’s plan is to limit garbage collection to what fits into the size bin a household purchases with no opportunity for an additional pay-as-you-throw system, thereby limiting households to a maximum 4.5 bags of garbage every two weeks. Most families will be able to keep their garbage under these limits, but particularly large families will be hard-pressed not to exceed these limits even with recycling and organic garbage collection. The city doesn’t seem to care. Chalk it up to yet another example of the way government policy adversely affects families and discourages parents from having large families.

David Suzuki

Canadian environmental activist David Suzuki told university audiences in January and February that those who are opposed to climate change should be jailed. He told a McGill audience: “What I would challenge you to do is to put a lot of effort into trying to see whether there’s a legal way of throwing our so-called leaders into jail, because what they are doing is a criminal act.” The McGill Daily and National Post both reported the story and Suzuki’s spokesmen – spokesmen! – claimed that his comments were not meant to be taken seriously. Except, as the Calgary Herald’s Licia Corbella noted, Suzuki used almost the exact same words at the University of Toronto in January.

Corbella asked, “Should practised public speakers delivering a prepared speech on more than one occasion not be taken literally? It’s absurd of Suzuki to now claim he didn’t mean what he said. Repeatedly. In a prepared speech. On the record. For publication.”

How many other utterances of Suzuki’s are we not to take seriously? I wish he was always just joking.

Suzuki is a rabid supporter of population control, viewing mankind as a threat to a “sustainable environment.” In his 1999 eight-part CBC program From Naked Ape to Superspecies, Suzuki repeatedly pointed to the idea that man is a scourge best eliminated. One of the “experts” quoted in the radio program said, “If all humanity disappeared … the rest of life would benefit enormously.” In his 1989 radio series It’s a Matter of Survival, he routinely referred to man as a cancer. In that series, he had fellow population control zealot Paul Erhlich say, “Perpetual growth is the creed of the cancer cell.”

For decades, the government has funded his anti-life diatribes on the national broadcaster. His David Suzuki Foundation qualifies as a charity despite its – and his – political agitation. He is viewed as a Canadian icon.

Suzuki has long refused to debate critics, a sure sign that he has little confidence of defending his ideas. Now he is calling for those who disagree with him on climate change to be jailed. What is he afraid of? And how did environmentalism become so totalitarian? These are important questions – questions that answer themselves – when considering the ideas of environmental extremists.

And “extremist” is an appropriate label for someone who wants to imprison those who have different ideas. I am just surprised he hasn’t lodged a human rights complaint against those with whom he disagrees.

–Paul Tuns