Campaign Life and Coalition for the Protection of Human Life have joined together to form one strong political pro-life group under the name of Campaign Life Coalition. The amalgamation came following a series of meetings held between the two groups in Montreal on the weekend of July 4, during the annual Alliance for Life Convention.
Talks between the two groups began in January 1986, when they met in Ottawa with executive members of Alliance for Life (the umbrella group for over 250 educational organizations) to discuss steps towards unity within the pro-life movement in Canada. After several meetings, the final step was taken in Montreal, with only administrative details left to be worked out in the future. The first meeting of the national board of the new group will take place in Aylmer, Quebec in October, where national strategy will be worked out.
The new Campaign Life Coalition Executive consists of Jim Hughes (Ontario) President; Bill Lenihan (Alberta) past President; Lucille Gordon (Quebec) Vice-President; Margaret Purcell (Saskatchewan) Vice-President; Winifride Prestwich (Ontario) Secretary; and Shirley Witt (Ontario) Treasurer. There are also four members at large: Joe Borowski (Manitoba) Stephen Jalsevac (Ontario); Heather Stilwell (British Columbia); and Alfred Cannon (Prince Edward Island).
According to Borowski, the move was long overdue: “Although there is a need for regional groups in the pro-life movement, it is also necessary to have one strong voice federally. This will bring unity and co-operation to the pro-life movement and will give us more political clout in dealing with government or with other officials.
Following the successful vote to unify the two groups, Margaret Purcell, one of the Vice-Presidents, stated: “We took a giant step. Thank God, and thanks to the membership for putting the pro-life cause first and letting the cause prevail.” She went on to say: “one of us will have trouble working side by side, walking hand in hand in holy, determined unity.”