Archbishop Exner worries about future of Canada
OTTAWA – Speaking at the Priests for Life annual symposium, Archbishop Adam Exner, retired Catholic archbishop of Vancouver, said, “I am becoming more and more worried about the state of freedom in our country.” Exner warned that growing judicial activism in Canada is changing laws and institutions beyond the restraint of democratic process. “Same-sex marriages are now legal in four provinces and one territory. But did any of this come from the people? It came from the courts, and when courts legislate, democracy is undermined.” His remarks came during a ceremony in which he was awarded a meritorious service award by Priests for Life.

Nova Scotia okays gay ‘marriage’
HALIFAX – The Nova Scotia Supreme Court has ruled traditional marriage between one man and one woman unconstitutional and has redefined it to mean “the lawful union of two persons, to the exclusion of all others.” Nova Scotia became the sixth Canadian region to redefine marriage through judicial fiat. The five other regions are: Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, British Columbia and the Yukon. Neither the federal government nor the provincial government attempted a defence of traditional marriage. Nova Scotia Premier John Hamm announced the province would not stand up for marriage, saying, “We will follow what the law of the land is.”

Mother arrested in suspected assisted-suicide
MONTREAL – Marielle Houle, the 59-year-old mother of Charles Fariala, 36, was arrested after admitting to police that her son died as a result of assisted suicide. Fariala suffered from multiple sclerosis. Fariala was a playright, the Globe and Mail reported, who had gone to the gym in the week before he was killed. A play he wrote, Victoria, about an old woman who was dying and afraid to be alone, began a run at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa in October, weeks after his death. Houle was released on bail as the court ordered her to take medication and see a psychiatrist. She was charged with aiding a suicide, rather than first-degree murder. Aiding a suicide carries a maximum sentence of 14 years and has no minimum sentence.

Call for conscience rights for marriage commissioners
OTTAWA – Following the news that numerous marriage commissioners across the country have surrendered their right to solemnize marriages because of court rulings legitimizing same-sex “marriage,” Saskatchewan MP Maurice Vellacott (C, Saskatoon-Wanuskewin) said the conscience rights of those who are allowed to perform weddings must be protected. “There is absolutely nothing in the Canadian Constitution that permits a ‘read-in’ right to trump explicitly protected conscience rights,” he said. “As politicians, we need to prevent further damage to our Constitution by Supreme Court judges.” He added, “Judges and politicians need to rediscover Canada’s spirit of tolerance, human dignity and mutual respect, and put an end to this violent treatment of our Constitution.” Vellacott took action when Manitoba marriage commissioners were sent a letter by the director of vital statistics for the province, telling them they would be expected to “marry” gay and lesbian couples or resign. Two marriage commissioners in Manitoba resigned immediately.