On Nov. 17-19, an important conference will be held in Montreal to promote life and family in Canada. (See the brochure for registration on the welcome page of www.lifesite.net). All the lectures will be translated simultaneously in French and English. More than 30 pro-life speakers, about half in French and half in English, will address the challenges that face Canada at the beginning of this new millennium. For the first time in many years, there will be an encounter of the two solitudes at this national conference.
What is at stake is the future of our civilization, which is based on respect for life and family. Without intellectual, moral and spiritual reform, Canada, and even more so Quebec, will disappear. It is important to take into account the Quebec factor in our strategy to save Canada from death. This conference will permit us to establish bridges in this respect.
Same-sex “marriage” became law because of the bad influence of Quebec. Stephen Harper said that the separatists of the Bloc were responsible, but the reality is that Quebec MPs as a group voted disproportionately in favour of bill C-38 and they were the decisive element. Only seven Quebec MPs (out of 75), including five Bloc MPs, voted against the bill. The bill only passed by 30 votes.
The Liberals have been able throughout the years to be considered the “Canadian Party” in Quebec and the Bloc is the result of 40 years of successful hijacking of Quebec nationalist aspirations by the left. This political reality must be understood by the pro-lifers and conservatives of the rest of Canada. At the same time, Quebecers must learn about the dynamism of the conservative and pro-life movement in Canada. They have to understand that the fight for life has to be the priority over the separatist dream and that we are not alone in the cultural war.
The Montreal conference, held at Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal, will provide for the possibility for this important collaboration and support.
On the political level, Quebecers will be able to learn more about the courageous battle of Stockwell Day for life and family as leader of the Canadian Alliance and as a Conservative parliamentarian. They will also discover the group of mainly Ontario pro-life Liberal MPs, through the participation of Dan McTeague, who have fought daily against unprincipled Liberal leaders like Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin.
Quebec will be represented at the political session by ex-MP Ghislain Lebel, who was expelled from the Bloc for his conservative ideas by the Marxist leader Gilles Duceppe, and by Gilles Noël, leader of a new Christian and pro-life party at the provincial level.
The religious plane will be represented by retired Archbishop Adam Exner, from Vancouver, a great spiritual leader of the pro-life movement in Canada for 25 years. He has always preached the importance of the involvement of Christians in the social and political sphere, particularly the defence of the rights of unborn children. His presence in Montreal will give more confidence to Catholic Quebecers who have been traumatized and paralyzed by the Quiet Revolution.
Bishop Jude Saint-Antoine, auxiliary bishop of Montreal, will celebrate one of the pro-life Masses to show that the Catholic church of Quebec has not forgotten its duty to defend Christian values even in a secularized society.
Leaders of other denominations will also participate in this ecumenical conference, an ecumenism based in our commitment to civilization. Rabbi Reuven Bulka of Ottawa and Bruce Clemenger, president of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, will participate. The deputy supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus, Jean Migneault, will also be present in the name of his organization, which is strongly committed to life and family.
The conference will not neglect the cultural battle, which is perhaps the most fundamental of our time. University professors and doctors, writers and activists, will discuss themes like euthanasia, the impact of abortion on women’s health, the family in crisis, stem cell research, today’s cultural battle and demographic changes. There will be an interesting dialogue between writers like Maurice G. Dantec, a French novelist recently converted to Catholicism, and Michael O’Brien, a famous Canadian novelist.
This will be a unique meeting between the two solitudes in Canada. The Liberals, who have understood the importance of the Quebec factor, have controlled Canada for the last century. Their unity is based only on interest and power. Since we want the common good of our nation, based on Christian values, we should unite to fight the good fight.
This conference will be a good opportunity to get to know each other and to launch this battle for the soul of Canada.