Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Notes from the Campaign Life Meeting February 26th.

The meeting began with a short address from Conservative MP Andrew Scheer (who's even cuter in person than he is on this picture). His main purpose there had been to introduce the new candidate in Ottawa South, but Campaign Life figured as long as he was there, he should give a little talk.

He spoke of some of the positive things being done by the Conservative government, such as modifying the Judicial Review Committee, the cost cuts to the Status of Women Agency and the elimination of the Court Challenges program.

He also spoke about an encounter he had with Vatican envoys during a United Nations meeting, while he was in opposition. He reported that the Vatican envoys said that the Canadian UN delegation was among the most pro-abortion in the world.

On the issue of questionnaires: he said that Conservative candidates are told not to answer questionnaires because the answers are taken out of context, but that this recommendation was directed more towards new candidates. He said that he had never been directly told not to fill out any questionnaire. He said the media are like sharks looking for juicy quotes and that pro-life MP's must use discretion. There's a difference between being disciplined and being muzzled.

Regarding the issue of social conservative candidates: he said that the candidate scrutineer forms are extensive, and that when candidates are disallowed, it could be for any number of reasons. Since the information is strictly confidential, the party is never allowed to divulge why the potential nominee was rejected. The party does not discourage social conservative candidates.

I asked him later if he had been sent by the Conservative Party to mend fences. He said he had not.

Aidan Reid gave a report on behalf of Jim Hughes, who was out of town that evening. Jim Hughes is very impressed by Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins, who is reported to have said in an interview on CFRB that he is open to excommunicating Catholic politicians who vote against life and family. That's interesting, since Paul Tuns, editor of The Interim said that Archbishop Collins is afraid of scaring would-be Catholic politicians by denying communion. The only way to test what the Archbishop says is to see how he reacts when a Catholic politician in his diocese votes the wrong way. That is the true test. Did he deny communion to anyone in when Edmonton when he was Archbishop, there? I didn't hear about it.

It is also reported that the Heart and Stroke Foundation now supports embryonic stem cell research.

There was also a report about the Telus situation. Archbishop Roussin had asked all 130 Catholic schools in his diocese to cancel their contracts with Telus. It was said that this, plus the pressure from the larger community, was the reason why Telus backed down from offering porn.

Heather Stilwell was also mentioned at the meeting. Her opponent, Paul Brar, who used to be a Liberal and worked on Liberal MP Sukh Dhaliwal's campaign, is signing up people who did not agree to be Liberals. They don't even speak English. Mass memberships are being bought. In fact, it was mentioned that that same evening, there was a meeting among Conservative Party officials to investigate the matter.

Eli Salibi, the Conservative Candidate for Ottawa South, addressed the meeting. He came there to say he was pro-life. He resumed his position as this "I'm against death, whether it's the death of a fetus or the death of an adult".

The Conservative Candidate in Ottawa Centre, a man by the name of Brian McGarry, is reputed to be a Red Tory, i.e. pro-abortion.

Pro-life activists are encouraged to go in pairs (or larger groups) to visit candidates with questionnaires to ask them about their position on abortion.

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