Numerous MPs Condemn Morgentaler Order of Canada Decision
Say it divides Canadians and debases the Order of Canada
By Tim Waggoner
OTTAWA, July 2, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Canadian Members of Parliament across the nation are condemning the conferral of the country's highest civic award on its most prolific murderer of the unborn.
Numerous MPs are criticizing the decision to give the Order of Canada to Dr. Henry Morgentaler for various reasons, saying the award was given in a controversial and underhanded manner, that the choice of recipient divides rather than unites Canadians and that giving the award to Morgentaler essentially debases the award itself. These same MPs are urging their constituents to immediately contact the Governor General's office (see end of article for contact info) in order to express their disappointment and to urge the Governor General to revoke the award.
Andrew Scheer, Conservative Member of Parliament for Regina-Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan, stated, "I am deeply troubled by the announcement that Henry Morgentaler has been awarded the Order of Canada. I am greatly disappointed that Canada's highest civilian honour has been politicized and debased by this appointment."
He continued, saying, "Henry Morgentaler has been a central figure in a very divisive and emotional debate. Far from uniting Canadians with feelings of pride and appreciation, there is a significant portion of the population who will be outraged by this decision. I would urge all Canadians who are dismayed by this appointment to contact the Governor-General and the advisory panel to express their disappointment."
Conservative MP Ken Epp for Sherwood Park, Edmonton, said abortionists have "gone too far." Epp also questioned whether Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, head of the Canadian Supreme Court and the Order of Canada advisory council, who made the decision to give the award to Morgentaler, could legitimately claim legal impartiality on the contentious issue of abortion. McLachlin made the decision despite the fact that the Advisory Council - like Canada - was divided on the issue.
"Is she now totally out of impartiality because of the fact she has weighed into this? I am concerned about all of those things," said Epp.
Rod Bruinooge, Conservative MP for Winnipeg South, Manitoba, also questioned McLachlin's efforts and the choice of Morgentaler for the recipient of the award. "Appointees to the Order of Canada should be seen by a clear majority of Canadians as being noble and beyond reproach. Since this is not the case with Dr. Morgentaler, he should not be considered for our highest civilian award. I find myself now questioning the Order of Canada and its very legitimacy as a voice for all Canadians."
Bruinooge said he is so appalled by the decision that he wishes his name be disassociated from the award. "I recently nominated a deserving citizen in my community, but I no longer feel I can associate with the Order and have asked to have my name disassociated with the nomination process," he said. "I urge Canadians to contact the Governor General and the Order of Canada Selection Committee to express your concern and disappointment with this divisive selection."
The Globe and Mail also reported that Maurice Vellacott, Conservative MP for Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, Saskatchewan and Dan McTeague, Liberal MP for Pickering-Scarborough East, Ontario both questioned why a decision would be made that would obviously cause division among Canadians.
"You would think it should be, as it has been in the past, a consensus. This is a pretty divisive issue. I think we can all agree on that. So why would we have the highest honour in the country being issued when there is obviously strong difference of opinion about it? There are so many deserving Canadians, there was no need to choose somebody like Dr. Morgentaler," said Vellacott.
Mcteague said he believes there were ulterior motives behind the divisive decision, stating it is "more of a social statement rather than the usual apolitical decisions. There will be people who cheer what [Morgentaler] has done. There will be others who fundamentally disagree with what he represents."
As quoted by the Globe and Mail, Paul Steckle, Liberal MP for Huron-Bruce, Ontario, said the appointment of Morgentaler debases the Order of Canada: "It diminished in my mind what we think the Order of Canada stands for."
The decision provoked Art Hanger, Conservative MP for Calgary Northeast, Alberta, to attack Canada's current state of legislative limbo on abortion, saying, "I think it's a sorry day when they give that man the Order of Canada. ... He's not deserving of it. What has the man contributed to this nation? Apart from providing a so-called service which I don't believe should be even offered in the nation, but is unfortunately, because we don't have a law governing the taking of life of the unborn."
There are reports that almost 60 Conservative Members of Parliament attached their names to an email to the Prime Minister over the weekend protesting the Order of Canada award to abortionist Morgentaler.
To contact the Governor General's office:
Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean
Governor General of Canada
1 Sussex Drive
Prime Minister Stephen Harper