The Queen’s award for Ignorance and Intolerance

To honor and commemorate the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II ascension to the throne of the British Empire, Canada will be awarding 60,000 “deserving Canadians” the Diamond Jubilee Medal. Each Member of Parliament will be giving 30 medals to their fellow citizens “for their contributions to the country, their province or their region.”

Many of the recipients are receiving their medals for being victims of injustice. Which bodes well considering the Harper government, through multiple omnibus bills, has decided to get tough on crime and to start actually incarcerating repeat offenders.

One of Harper’s underlings, Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott, supposedly representing his constituents in Saskatchewan, at least he should be, has chosen two convicted criminals, both repeat offenders, with one currently serving time in Toronto, as recipients of the Diamond Jubilee medal.

Linda Gibbons and Mary Wagner are described by Vellacott as being “heroines of humanity” and “precious women.”  He applauds their “civil disobedience to further a just cause.” He compares them to Martin Luther King Jr. The pro-life organization Campaign Life Coalition, describes both women as possessing quiet, meek and prayerful natures, so humble that they remind the Coalition of Mother Theresa.

And to what has deemed these two women so honored and appreciated? They attack abortion clinics. As Vellacott proudly announced, Gibbons and Wagner are deserving of the medal for “protecting defenceless, voiceless human beings in the womb from butchery and death.” Seriously I wish I was making this up.

Harper has said numerous times he has no interest in addressing the abortion issue head-on. Personally perhaps not, but I am sure the issue can be addressed just as well through members of his flock. A couple of examples being, Vellacott is also calling for Planned Parenthood’s funding to be taken away, and in June 2012 Canada pledged $1.1 billion to a global initiative on Maternal and Child health for developing countries, though under strict conditions that no funds to be used for abortions.

As to the medal winning Mother Theresa’s, Gibbons and Wagner, Gibbons has been in and out of jail for over ten years for violating injunctions to do with clinics that perform abortions. Arrested repeatedly, she refuses to sign bail orders. The first injunction against her, and others, was in the early 90’s after a clinic in Toronto was firebombed.

Wagner meanwhile is currently serving time in a Toronto jail for mischief and breaching court orders. She has also been arrested repeatedly, most of the time for violations of probation terms. She has been convicted four times since 2000. The present charge of breaching court orders has to do with her last trial where she was found guilty of trespassing and two counts of breach of probation. She appealed but the judge declared her guilty once again. She got time served (88 days) and three years’ probation, which she has just broken. The presiding judge at her appeal felt she has “utter contempt for court orders, lack of respect for the rights of others, and the rule of law.” He also added that she represented “a potential threat and danger to the well being and safety of civil society.”

The question now is will “deserving Canadians” Gibbons and Wagner be allowed to wear their Diamond Jubilee Medals, awarded for “their contributions to the country, their province or their region”, whenever they are incarcerated?

Simply amazing that by entering a legal clinic, which performs legal operations, and harassing, disrupting and upsetting the women and staff there, who are already struggling with a very difficult decision, one could win a medal for “civil disobedience to further a just cause.” Will they now enter a clinic and psychologically damage women further by shoving their medals in the crying women’s faces?

I once used to say, quite often actually, “only in America.” Boy was I wrong. As far as abortion, I feel a woman has the right to choose. And that it is between her, her doctor and those close to her. Not some person, who feels entitled, has zero tolerance of anything beyond what they personally believe and utter lack of respect for the rights of others.

I believe it was the American writer John Irving who recently said, “If you are against abortion, don’t have one.”


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