New Physicians for Life president

VANCOUVER – Dr. Will Johnston has succeeded Dr. Robert Pankratz as president of Canadian Physicians for Life. Johnston, co-chair of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition of B.C., heads the organization of 3,000 members who are committed to the Hippocratic Oath and the principle, “first, do no harm.” Recently, PFL wrote Health Minister Allan Rock urging a dialogue on abortion. Currently, PFL is undertaking an effort to contact every physician in Canada to ascertain their concerns and increase membership.

Pro-lifers attacked

SUDBURY, Ont. – On Sept. 26, Show the Truth demonstrators were attacked by a man outside of a high school as he destroyed seven pro-life signs. Show the Truth’s Rosemary Connell said pro-lifers were questioned about what transpired and were interrogated in a hostile manner. “Who are you, why are you here and why are you targeting children?” said one of the officers, according to one of the pro-lifers present. Despite video evidence and numerous eyewitnesses including the demonstrators and arresting officers, no charge were laid against the vandalizer. Apparently, police even went so far as to suggest charging the victims with blocking pedestrian traffic.

Hamilton homosexuals set out agenda

HAMILTON, Ont. – The Hamilton Spectator reported that homosexuals, bisexuals and transsexuals want a city-supported downtown centre where they can meet and “exchange information.”Mayor Bob Wade, who sought the support of Christian leaders in last year’s city municipal elections, met with eight homosexual activists in the first of what is expected to be quarterly meetings.

The activists’ agenda includes not just the centre, but implementing “teaching gay issues in schools, a youth hotline for gay and lesbian teens (and) sensitivity training for city employees.”

Stats Can to look at sexual orientation

OTTAWA – Statistics Canada has created a committee to study how to ask Canadians questions to identify their sexual orientation. Not satisfied with having asked to identify whether their relationships were “same-sex” relationships as was done in the last census, Statistics Canada is looking for more specific information. Homosexual activists were upset with the low number of Canadians identifying themselves as part of same-sex relationships, and have agitated for more specific information to be included in a government survey. Pierre Turcotte, chief of housing and family statistics for the government agency, indicated that there will be questions about sexual behaviour and the number and gender of those partners. A previous study of how to implement such questions went nowhere, but Statistics Canada seems ready to broach the topic again and include the questions in an up-coming census.

Five years for killing Alzheimer’s victim

VALLEYFIELD, Que. – Seventy-eight-year-old Herbert Lerner of Cote-St. Luc was sentenced to five years in prison for killing his wife. Lerner asphyxiated Jenny Lerner, his 73-year-old wife, on June 12, 2000 with a plastic bag after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. He maintained that the act was a mercy killing and pleaded guilty to manslaughter earlier this year. Quebec Court judge Pierre Laberge rejected the mercy killing defence, noting that the woman was only at the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s and there was no any evidence that Mrs. Lerner was suffering or that she had requested her husband’s aid in taking her life. Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition of Ontario said the case shows the danger of legalizing euthanasia since the infirm will be made extremely vulnerable.

Teen suicides increase

MONTREAL – The Montreal Gazette reports Quebec has Canada’s highest youth suicide rate with Quebec teens 10 times more likely to commit suicide today than they were in 1950, with an average of 200 teens taking their lives annually. Male teens are three times more likely than girls to take their own lives. “This is a crisis that can’t be ignored,” said Dr. Nagy Charles Bedwani, a psychiatrist at Sacre-Coeur Hospital and author of the report. “Are there sociocultural factors that can explain the increase? Is it a change in our lifestyle? Does it have something to do with a change in family structure and values? These are questions that we have to ask.”