The Christian Press

Now that October madness has finally subsided it is time to see how the Christian press dealt with the election, especially regarding the pro-life issue. As usual, B.C. Catholic gets top marks for its excellence coverage and comprehensive lists of all the pro-life candidates running in the province. Christian Week chose to skip over abortion and not treat it as an election issue. The Catholic New Times concentrated heavily on the issues of employment, poverty and health care but ignored Canada’s greatest human rights abuse–abortion. It is understood that CNT has a constituency to serve and they obviously felt that these were the issues which would most affect their readers. However, this is not the case with The Catholic Register and their election coverage came under heavy criticism. Much of this exasperation originated over an editorial which said that as a voting issue, abortion occupied equal footing with unemployment, the economy, immigration and homelessness. According to this editorial, one could in good conscience, vote for a pro-abortion candidate as long as he was concerned with these issues. A weak and confusing statement, at best.

What Now?

With roughly 67 pro-life Members of Parliament (not including Quebec) elected to the House of Commons, many are asking what they can possibly do with the contentious issue of abortion. The most obvious is the introduction of a private members’ bill which, if passed by the Commons and the Senate, would become law. In the past Jean Chrétien has mentioned that he would allow his members to vote with their consciences and not along party lines on the issue. A private members’ motion would not become law but, if passed, would put extreme pressure on the government to address the issue. Pro-life MPs can also ensure that the proper witnesses are called to testify before committees examining issues which impact on the pro-life movement.


Shut out of the nationally televised major party debates, the “mini-leaders” who lead the minor parties fought back and staged their own debate. Seven minor parties chipped in to rent the National Arts Centre, and were televised live on CBC Newsworld. The parties which showed up were the Christian Heritage Party, Green Party, Canada Party, Natural Law Party, Marxist-Leninist Party, and the Libertarian Party. Electoral reform was the first topic discussed and the leaders were able to make the viewers aware of the inequality of Canada’s election act. Smaller parties do not get the 25% rebate on election expenses which are handed out to the larger parties. The leaders also touched on topics of jobs and the economy, the deficit and financing, crime and justice, and finally, social issues. The debate was sometimes lively, but lacked the acrimony and fingerpointing of the major leaders’ debate.