Toronto. It’s not yet Christmas time, but the Ontario NDP government is in a very giving mood.
An investigative reporter in Toronto estimates that the government of Ontario has spent over a million dollars of taxpayers’ dollars in legal fees in its attempt to ban all pro-life activism.
The court case which was concluded at the end of August involved months of preparation, discovery and cross examination. Justice George Adams imposed 60-foot picketing limits at two Toronto abortuaries and 30 feet at another but did not go any further. Attorney General Marion Boyd had asked for a complete shutdown of all pro-life activities at these clinics and at 20 others across the province.
Christie Blatchford, a reporter for the Toronto Sun, wrote that abortionists Robert Scott and Manole Buruiana (Cabbagetown Women’s Clinic) received gifts of $223,000 and $249,000 respectively in government grants to pay legal fees for Morris Manning who intervened in the case on their behalf. Nikki Colodny, the abortionist at The Choice in Health Clinic, received a $309,000 plum to pay for legal representation by Clayton Ruby and Harriet Sachs.
All told, $778,000 of taxpayer money was bestowed upon the clinics to pay for the lawyer’s intervention. When the cost for the government’s lawyers and the transcript and court fees are taken into account, the bill will run well over a million dollars.
What is interesting about the grants is that they were not given from the Attorney General’s office but from the Ministry of Health. Legal sources say lawyers’ fees are capped by the Attorney General’s office, but the maximum is waived if another ministry is involved. The high-priced lawyers who represented the Toronto clinics could therefore claim huge costs from the cash-strapped ministry.
When questioned why the Ministry of Health paid the bills, spokesperson Anne Moon explained that her department considered the case “a woman’s health issue.”
The pro-life defence lawyers were forced to fight the case on a tight budget and, with the case still scheduled to go to trial, still have huge expenses ahead. On November 17, they will appear before Justice Adams to ask that the government cover their costs.
With their present low-approval rating, the NDP chances of re-election appear to be very slim. “It appears that before they leave office the NDP is going to throw as much money as it can to prop up the abortion industry,” said CLC spokesperson Sabina McLuhan.
“Every other business but the abortion industry has suffered since they were elected. We just hope we can weather the storm until a less antagonist government gets in.”