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January 2003

Across Canada

Morgentaler subject of TV movie
CA opposes C-250
Bishops speak out on gay marriage
Hospital urged to abortionists
Euthanasia advocate in court


Morgentaler subject of TV movie

MONTREAL - The Montreal Gazette reports that Park Ex Pictures will produce a made-for-TV movie about abortionist Henry Morgentaler, entitled "Choices: The Henry Morgentaler Story." The Gazette reports that when freelance writer Linda Massarella called Park Ex producer Kevin Tierney, he "very tersely" told the reporter, "There's no reason for you to write about it." The paper also reported that Vera Miller of Elite Casting admitted that there would be a sizeable cast: "Morgentaler had many wives and mistresses, so there will be a lot of work for Montreal actresses on this."


CA opposes C-250

OTTAWA - In an open letter to the provincial and territorial attorneys-general and justice ministers, Canadian Alliance Justice Critic Vic Toews has criticized Svend Robinson's amendments to the Criminal Code, which add sexual orientation as a specially protected class in the hate crime laws. Toews said Robinson's Bill C-250, formerly C-415, could have "negative implications" including possible criminal prosecutions for statements critical of homosexuality and the use of the law in civil lawsuits. Toews emphasized the point that while the CA opposes advocating genocide and hatred directed against any group of people, Bill C-250 is clearly not an appropriate legislative response.


Bishops speak out on gay marriage

OTTAWA - In a pastoral letter to Canadian Catholics, Bishop Jacques Berthelet, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, has urged the laity to speak out against homosexual civil unions. Noting that the justice minister has asked Canadians to provide input on the issue of legal recognition of same-sex unions, the Nov. 22 letter encouraged Catholics "to become involved in this important public debate about marriage, which is a social institution essential to the future of society." He continued: "Marriage as a union between one man and one woman has existed across all cultures, in all civilizations, in all countries and in all religions for all of recorded history. It is the basic unit of society, the social nucleus in which most children are born and raised. In exchange for the irreplaceable role of the married couple in the upbringing of children, society in turn makes a commitment to them."


Hospital urged to abortionists

BROCKVILLE, Ont. - The Brockville Recorder notes that "long-time pro-choice supporter" Dr. John Southin, a member of the board of the city's General Hospital, has urged the hospital's physician recruitment campaign to give preference, all other things being equal, to obstetricians who commit abortions. The paper reported that abortions "are not conducted here in part because local obstetricians - Dr. Raymond Ng and Dr. Tim Froats - do not perform them." Southin said that, "It's a legal service and our girls should not have to travel to a hospital such as Kingston or Ottawa" for an abortion. Brockville General Hospital stopped committing abortions in the mid-1990s when the abortionist retired. The board will review the issue in January.


Euthanasia advocate in court

DUNCAN, B.C. - Right to Die Network member Evelyn Marie Martens, 71, was in Duncan provincial court facing two counts of assisting suicide and two counts of counselling to commit suicide, for her role in the deaths of two B.C. women. The court held a preliminary inquiry to determine if there is sufficient evidence to proceed with the case. Assisted suicide advocate Andy Mulchay attended the hearing to lend moral support and said actions such as Martens are "one more step in making life more dignified as a whole." Meanwhile, the Right to Die Network urged supporters to donate to a defence fund set up through TD Canada Trust and to bombard phone-in TV and radio programs with calls defending her actions.



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