Pro-lifer James Risdon is petitioning to be appointed to the Senate.

Pro-lifer James Risdon is petitioning to be appointed to the Senate.

A New Brunswick pro-lifer has launched a petition to encourage Prime Minister Stephen Harper to appoint him to the Senate.

Noting that there are numerous unfilled Senate seats in the upper chamber, including two from the Atlantic Canadian province, and that “Canadians are fed up with patronage appointments,” James Risdon initiated a petition at calling on Harper to name him senator representing New Brunswick.

A former entrepreneur and award-winning journalist, who has contributed to The Interim, Risdon said on the petition that because he has “covered business and politics at every level in Canada” he understands the issues senators deal with and would make “a great choice for the Canadian Senate.”

His seemingly Quixotic campaign has garnered attention in the media with coverage in the province’s largest newspaper, the Saint John Telegraph-Journal and L’Acadie-Nouvelle, the province’s only French daily, as well as national coverage in the Catholic Register and in the the community newspaper in The Pas, Manitoba.

Part of Risdon’s reason for the campaign is to bring a pro-life voice to the Senate. In an email to The Interim, Risdon said, “with this initiative, I see myself as trying to put in practice the Church’s teaching which encourages all Catholics to ‘to bring this essential truth about human life and dignity to the public square’.”

Risdon added, “certainly, the need for federal politicians who are faithful to the Roman Catholic Church’s teaching has never been greater than it is right now. And I would like to see Roman Catholics throughout the country support me in this endeavour by signing my petition and also asking other Catholics to also consider signing it.” Of course, the support of all pro-lifers regardless of faith affiliation, are welcomed.

Jeff Gunnarson of Campaign Life Coalition told The Interim that CLC takes no position on the Senate or senate reform but is pleased with Risdon’s effort to highlight both the pro-life issue and need for all Christians to follow their conscience and not partisan affiliation when they enter the public square. “We hope the petition sends a signal to the political class that principles come before party,” said Gunnarson.

A Metis who lives in Bathurst with his wife Ada Chan, Risdon has two daughters and a grand-daughter.