M-590, the non-binding motion put forward by Conservative MP Ed Komarnicki (Souris – Moose Mountain) stated, in full, “in the opinion of the House, all Members of Parliament should be allowed to vote freely on all matters of conscience.” It passed 273-1, with the lone vote against cast by Government Whip Gordon O’Connor (Carleton – Mississippi Mills). During the debate on the motion, Komarnicki referenced abortion and accused Liberal leader Justin Trudeau of violating the Charter by barring pro-lifers from his party. Komarnicki is not seeking re-election. Maclean’s columnist Aaron Wherry said the motion was toothless because it did not define what was a conscience matter … Larry Worthen, executive director of the Christian Medical and Dental Society of Canada, said in a press release: “The conscience policy adopted by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan will seriously undercut the ability of Saskatchewan physicians and surgeons to exercise their Section 2 conscience rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. For many doctors, this policy will make the practice of medicine untenable, drive doctors away from the province and keep doctors from moving here to practice medicine” … In a Halton, Ont., custody battle, an unidentified Mother comments that her son wanted to be identified as a girl. Dr. Joey Bonifacio, an expert in gender identity at SickKids Hospital in Toronto, found that “S. (the boy in question) only expressed affective statements that were tied to gender expression such as, ‘I want to be a girl. Girls have long hair’.” Justice Sheilagh O’Connell has ordered the parents to allow their son to pick his own clothes … Toronto Mayor John Tory told the Toronto Star that he supports Pride Week because, “we are celebrating what I think is at the essence of what makes Toronto a great city: how we live together” … A Fraser Institute study reported that the official enrollment of kids being home-schooled grew by 29 per cent across the country between 2007 and 2012. from 16,773 to 21,662 … On April 15, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of atheist Alain Simoneau from Saguenay, Que., who was opposed to prayer at his council’s meetings, saying municipal prayers violated the neutrality principle. A recent poll from the Angus Reid Institute found that 56 per cent of its respondents are in favour of the court’s ruling … Iola de Veber, 86, the wife of Dr. Barrie de Veber, a long-time pro-life leader and founder of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, passed away on June 19.

United States

The Maine Senate defeated assisted suicide bill LD 1270 by a vote of 18-17, twice in two days last month …  Two chimpanzees, Hercules and Leo, should be given a writ of habeas corpus and transported from Stony Brook University to a Florida sanctuary, according to Steven Wise, a lawyer with the Nonhuman Rights Project. On May 27, Wise, who is arguing the case before the New York State Supreme Court, compared the confinement of the primates for research to slavery and the sentence of solitary confinement. The university’s lawyer, Christopher Coulston, told Judge Barbara Jaffe that there is no precedent for assigning animals personhood status.


The Dutch Pediatric Association has called for the elimination of any age restrictions on euthanasia, saying current regulations allowing teenagers to ask for euthanasia discriminates against younger children. Current Dutch law permits children 12 and older to ask for euthanasia with parental approval, but Eduard Verhagen, pediatrics professor at Groningen University and member of the Pediatric Association’s ethics commission complains: “we feel that an arbitrary age limit such as 12 should be changed and that each child’s ability to ask to die should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. If a child under 12 satisfies the same conditions, pediatricians are currently powerless. It’s time to address this problem” … On May 22, the Republic of Ireland became the first country to legalize same-sex “marriage” by referendum with 62 per cent of those voting (60 per cent turnout) supporting changing the definition of marriage. Many celebrities and politicians, including prime minister Enda Kenny, publicly backed the “yes” side. As a result of this referendum the Irish Constitution will now read: “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex” … The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has told the government of Ireland it had to hold a referendum on abortion with an eye to legalizing the procedure. Ireland is one of the few countries to have a constitutional ban on abortion although a 2014 law permits a limited health of the mother exception … The local council of the Marion suburb of the south Australian city of Adelaide voted 6-5 to permanently fly the rainbow flag. Councillor Bruce Hall said, it is “a very important token gesture to acknowledge that we have diversity in our community with regards to their sexual orientation”