CRTC promotes Canadian porn industry

OTTAWA – The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has approved a new Canadian pay TV pornography channel that will air in Québec beginning in October. The channel, Vanessa, licensed by Sex-Shop Television in Montreal, will also air in English in the rest of the country in 2011. Under the licence, the new channel’s programming must be 20 per cent Canadian. Don Hutchinson, director of law and public policy for the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, pointed out that the Canadian content requirement is means, “We have an official government body saying that a pornography industry must exist in Canada.”

Green Party support abortion in foreign aid

OTTAWA – The Green Party condemned the federal government’s position on excluding abortion as part of its maternal health initiative, saying it has caused Canada to be “once again embarrassed on the world stage.” Deborah Donnelly, Green Party status of women critic, said: “Abortion should be part of our development commitments abroad. It is an important part of reducing maternal and child mortality.” Party leader Elizabeth May said the government is playing politics when “We should be focusing on the goal of reducing poverty and bettering the lives of women and children in developing countries.” Campaign Life Coalition national organizer Mary Ellen Douglas said the party’s zeal to protect the planet but not the people showed a disturbing set of priorities.

Quebec cardinal causes controversy

QUEBEC CITY – Roman Catholic Primate of Canada and Archbishop of Québec Marc Ouellet caused a media stir after saying abortion is a moral crime, even in cases of rape. Speaking at a pro-life conference on May 15, he praised the Canadian government’s decision to exclude abortion from Canada’s proposed G8 policy on maternal health and spoke against euthanasia. Regarding rape, he commented, “Why should we push a woman who has been the victim of a crime to commit one of her own?” Later answering questions from a reporter, he said that a pregnant rape victim needs to be helped “with respect for the being that is in her womb. It is not responsible for what happened,” affirming church doctrine that life starts at conception. Parti Quebecois leader Pauline Marois said she was “completely outraged” by the Cardinal’s statements. Federal Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Josee Verner, a pro-abortion member of the Conservative government, said that his comments were “unacceptable.” La Presse columnist Patrick Lagace compared Cardinal Ouellet to an Iranian imam who suggested that scantily-clad women were responsible for natural disasters and said he wished the Cardinal would “die a slow and painful death” as punishment for his opposition to euthanasia. Joanne McGarry, executive director of the Catholic Civil Rights League, criticized Patrick Lagace’s statement. “This type of remark is tantamount to saying that people who oppose unlimited access to abortion should be denied the right to speak.”

Pro-lifer accepts MPs challenge to debate

CALGARY – A one-time patient of former physician and current MP Hedy Fry (Lib., Vancouver Centre) has invited her to a public debate about abortion. On May 3, Fry said she is prepared to debate abortion with anyone, although she claimed that abortion debate is unnecessary in Canada. Stephanie Gray, executive director of the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform, whose mother was also Fry’s patient while she was pregnant, is waiting for a response after sending Fry’s office a request for a public debate. “The fact that abortion advocates (on university campuses) feel it necessary to ban, censor or even threaten with arrest, students for simply protesting abortion or holding debates on abortion tells me that the debate is far from finished,” wrote Gray in the open letter.

BC considers opening abortion records

KELOWNA, B.C. – The British Columbia Information and Privacy Commissioner is to decide whether to hold an inquiry to determine whether it is in the public interest to release abortion statistics for each BC hospital. The inquiry, which was submitted by Campaign Life Coalition BC, would challenge a 2001 provincial law that severely limits the disclosure of any abortion statistics. ‘’The government doesn’t ban the release of information on the number of any other procedures that are performed in hospitals,’’ said Ted Gerk, a member of Campaign Life Coalition BC, to the Kelowna Daily Courier. ‘’They shouldn’t be able to do it with abortion.’’ The inquiry was to proceed in May or June, but Kelowna and Vancouver General Hospitals filed applications requesting that the hearings not be held.

Fr. van Hee faced death threat

OTTAWA – Fr. Tony van Hee has stood on Parliament Hill every day that Parliament has been in session for the past 21 years without relatively few incidents, but on May 11 the Jesuit priest was threatened by Malcolm Miller, 53, who said he would kill him if he was still there when the man returned. The threat occurred at 10:15 am and Fr. van Hee told The Interim that he took the man seriously because he had repeatedly passed by the priest and threatened him. Fr. van Hee told the RCMP of the incident who informed the Ottawa police. When Miller returned that afternoon and threatened to break Fr. van Hee’s legs and kill him, the pro-life witness called the police on his cell phone. Miller attempted to grab the pro-life and pro-family signs Fr. van Hee brings with him to the Hill. The situation was defused when Miller’s shouts attracted the RCMP’s attention. Miller has been been charged with entering a premise when entry was prohibited under the Trespass to Property Act, and with intoxication in a public place under the Liquor License Act.