After years of struggling for any kind of media exposure, the B.C. Family Coalition Party has finally gained some notoriety outside the pro-life circle. To the surprise of many, Bill Vander Zalm showed up as a paid-in-full member at the party’s year-end conference. The very controversial Vander Zalm served as B.C.’s premier for one term before running into a myriad of personal and political difficulties. Never the most popular premier, Vander Zalm did, however, win approval when he withdrew provincial funding for abortions. Many FCP members describe themselves as old-time Socreds who feel abandoned by the post- Vander Zalm shift away from family and Christian values. Vander Zalm may be among those who feel morally alienated from the Socred Party. However, there are quiet rumblings from the coast that his FCP membership stems from political rather than moral alienation. The FCP is hoping this is not the case. There has been no mention of whether he will run for the party in the next election.

A rocky ride

Looks like pro-family groups are going to be keeping a close eye on Liberal Justice Minister Allan Rock. Rock, a rising star in the Liberal Party, has stated on record that he plans to make changes to the Canadian Human Rights Act. According to the Western Report, these changes would grant special protection to homosexuals and lesbians. He has also hinted that he would do away with the Tory clause which defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman. This would, of course, open the door to legal spousal and family benefits for gay couples. Further to this is the disturbing news that the Justice Minister plans to revive the disastrous Court Challenges Program. In its old form, the $3 million-a-year program served as little more than a slush fund which radical feminist and homosexual groups could dip into whenever they wanted to organize legal challenges to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Good timing, Bill.

U.S. President Bill Clinton’s decision to increase abortion funding was so well timed that it did not create the great outrage it demanded. On Dec. 25, Clinton filed a federal mandate which may force States to fund abortions in cases of rape or incest. If any State refuses to comply with the measure, Clinton has threatened to withdraw all federal funding. Many States already prohibit abortion funding and would require a two-thirds legislative vote to override their own laws and impose the Clinton declaration. In most cases, a two-thirds vote on anything is usually hard to come by and with a controversial issue such as abortion on hand, it may well be impossible. So, if the Clinton mandate holds any water, those States which cannot put an abortion funding law in place may lose all federal funding. Ironically, this latest abortion mandate is in direct contradiction to an Oct. ’93 Clinton executive order which prohibited any new federal mandates without prior consultation with affected parties. State health officials in Utah and Louisiana claim their governments will ignore the mandate until it is further clarified.

Off the wire

A new pamphlet from New York claims that Planned Parenthood America, the largest abortion promoter in the world, makes an annual profit of over $64 million on the sale of contraceptives. Adding to their $140 million taxpayer supplement and the untold amounts they make from their abortion mills, one has to wonder why they’re not on the Forbes 500…Avon started the idea, Tupperware perfected it and now Planned Parenthood wants in on the fun. Just to show how far PP will go to make a buck, their Detroit branch has decided to try to sell contraceptives using the home party route which worked so well for cosmetic and plastic container companies. By following this formula, the group feels it can improve its public image, spread sexual awareness and, most importantly, increase its share of the birth control market. America really is an odd place…Henry Morgentaler is expanding his eastern abortion franchise. Looks like the good folks of Fredricton, N.B. will be the next unlucky hosts…Toronto’s Archbishop Aloysius Ambrozic celebrated his Dec. 28 Mass of the Holy Innocents for the pro-life movement. Over 1,000 people attended.