Pro-Life NL state­ment on Frank Cole­man

The Southern Gazette - - EDITOR’S VIEWPOINT - Edi­tor; Patrick Hanlon, spokesper­son Pro-Life NL BY PETER PICK­ERS­GILL

It was re­fresh­ing to hear of Frank Cole­man’s in­ten­tions to seek the lead­er­ship of the prov­ince.

Be­ing aware of his in­volve­ment in the faith com­mu­nity and the pro­life move­ment, we were de­lighted that some­one prin­ci­pled was step­ping for­ward. How­ever, his lat­est com­ments re­gard­ing not im­pos­ing his pro-life views are a lit­tle puz­zling.

While re­spect­ing di­ver­sity of prac­tices and opin­ions is a no­ble thing, the pri­mary role of govern­ment is to en­sure that cer­tain stan­dards are met and rea­son­able lim­its are not ex­ceeded. How­ever, there is a gap­ing void in re­la­tion to abor­tion, caused by Par­lia­ment’s fail­ure to take the 1988 Supreme Court’s in­vi­ta­tion to draft a law restrict­ing abor­tion, which said it would be a “per­fectly valid leg­isla­tive ob­jec­tive.” Thus, Canada is in the com­pany of the hu­man rights trav­es­ties of China and North Korea, the only other na­tions with­out any re­stric­tions on abor­tion.

This void has left our na­tion at the per­ils of the abor­tion in­dus­try im­pos­ing it­self upon its vic­tims. Abor­tion is of­ten im­posed upon women who want to give birth by un­sup­port­ive part­ners and oth­ers who bully and vi­o­lently co­erce them to act against their own will. Abor­tion is im­posed upon women by the abor­tion in­dus­try, com­plete with pri­vate-for-profit clin­ics, that fails to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion about the risks and al­ter­na­tives. Abor­tion is im­posed on those not legally old enough to con­sent to many ac­tions but can have one with­out the knowl­edge of their guardians. Abor­tion is al­ways im­posed upon the most vul­ner­a­ble, up to nine months in ges­ta­tion. The abor­tion men­tal­ity is of­ten im­posed upon in­di­vid­u­als who fear be­ing lam­basted by anti-lif­ers for be­ing a vo­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the silent ma­jor­ity.

The pro-life move­ment stands for hu­man rights, es­pe­cially the most ba­sic one of life. It seeks to help people make free and in­formed de­ci­sions. These pro-life aims are vir­tu­ally uni­ver­sally ac­cepted as pos­i­tive govern­ment re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, not neg­a­tive im­po­si­tions as some claim.

As pre­mier, Mr. Cole­man has a role to play. A well-formed con­science does not al­low for one view pri­vately and an­other pub­licly. We have only one soul that it with us in both realms. To whom much is given, much is ex­pected. We hope that Mr. Cole­man’s con­science will guide him in ac­cept­ing the re­spon­si­bil­ity and us­ing the great in­flu­ence he has been given.

Ideally, we would like him to abol­ish abor­tion com­pletely in New­found­land and Labrador as it is in Prince Ed­ward Is­land. How­ever, we know this may not be in­stan­ta­neously achiev­able as not ev­ery politi­cian is prin­ci­pled. We agree with Saint John Paul II’s Evan­gelium Vite 73 that says: “... when it is not pos­si­ble to over­turn or com­pletely ab­ro­gate a pro-abor­tion law, an elected of­fi­cial, whose ab­so­lute per­sonal op­po­si­tion to pro­cured abor­tion was well known, could lic­itly sup­port pro­pos­als aimed at lim­it­ing the harm done by such a law and at less­en­ing its neg­a­tive con­se­quences at the level of gen­eral opin­ion and pub­lic moral­ity.”

Mr. Cole­man can be as­sured of our con­tin­ued prayers.

By walk­ing up a small hill be­hind my house I can see with the naked eye the CBC com­mu­ni­ca­tions tower in St. Chad’s.

It re­lays the CBC Ra­dio One sig­nal from Gan­der to the com­mu­ni­ties in Bon­av­ista Bay. It was there when I moved to New­found­land in 2004 to be­come a livyer af­ter 32 years as a sum­mer res­i­dent.

I knew in 2004 that tower emit­ted only the Ra­dio One sig­nal and noth­ing else. Un­less some­thing changed, I would be do­ing with­out Ra­dio Two and the two Ra­dio Canada French lan­guage sta­tions, la Pre­mière Chaine and Es­pace Musique, that the tax­pay­ers of Canada fi­nance.

I had lis­tened to all four daily in my home stu­dio in Gatineau, Que., and had done so for 25 years. Since the tower was al­ready in place, I was op­ti­mistic that some lob­by­ing would con­vince our pub­lic broad­caster to start send­ing out the other three sig­nals from St. Chad’s.

I was op­ti­mistic, cer­tainly, but also naive as things have turned out.

Re­cently, CBC/Ra­dio Canada an­nounced the lay­off of 657 em­ploy­ees, eight per cent of the work­force, along with dras­tic cuts in pro­gram­ming.

While there have been cuts be­fore to the CBC, it was not un­til Prime Min­is­ter Stephen Harper ar­rived in of­fice that overt hos­til­ity to­ward pub­lic broad­cast­ing be­came govern­ment pol­icy.

Harper doesn’t like pub­licly owned any­thing, ex­cept pris­ons. He spe­cially dis­likes pub­lic broad­cast­ers who ex­pose his skull­dug­gery and weasel-like ways.

It would be naive in­deed to imag­ine that I will be hear­ing any new sig­nals from the St. Chad’s CBC tower in the fore­see­able fu­ture.

This was what I was think­ing as I took my cus­tom­ary daily walk over to the post of­fice. As I ap­proached, I was greeted by the sound of pub­lic broad­cast­ing that I can al­ways count on. The 13 ducks that greet vis­i­tors to the post of­fice with their joy­ous quack­ing helped me briefly for­get Stephen Harper’s most re­cent at­tack on my be­lief that Canada, and above all ru­ral Canada, is a won­der­ful place to be­long to.

It didn’t last. Step­ping into the tiny post of­fice, I tuned into an ex­pla­na­tion, al­ready in progress, of the lat­est way the Govern­ment of Canada has found to make its cit­i­zens feel un­wanted: the post­mistress’s hours and salary were be­ing cut by 25 per cent.

She was ex­plain­ing to us that the work­load would re­main ex­actly the same, but she would be re­quired to ac­com­plish it in three-quar­ters of the time nor­mally avail­able. She was not happy. Who would be af­ter re­ceiv­ing a one-quar­ter cut in pay?

This is a per­son who is un­fail­ingly help­ful, even com­ing down­stairs from her kitchen to the post of­fice dur­ing her lunchtime to help a cus­tomer wait­ing for some­thing im­por­tant in the mail but who had to go out of town and wouldn’t be able to make it back be­fore the post of­fice closed.

She fears this pay cut is Canada Post’s way to push her into quit­ting. Then they would shut the post of­fice and re­place it with com­muni-

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