Saskatchewan MP Maurice Vellacott recently awarded two anti-abortionist women, who have been jailed for harassing women seeking abortions, with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. This medal is being awarded to 60,000 Canadians this year. In order to be eligible one must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada and have made a significant contribution to a particular province, territory, region or community within Canada, or an achievement abroad that brings credit to Canada.
I suppose significance is something rather subjective. When looking more into Vellacott’s background as an MP you can clearly see where he stands on the issue. On Oct. 19th he tabled petitions from his constituents to review of “the 400-year-old definition of “human being” that exists in Canadian law.” You can read the release here. He also sent out a release on May 17th entitled “Stop the bullying of Canada’s most vulnerable – the baby in the womb.” So, you can kind of understand or see how he views significance in this case.
I can’t help but think that Prime Minister Harper isn’t too happy with this. He keeps saying he doesn’t want to open up the abortion debate again. I think he’d rather have his back-benchers keep a little more quite about the big A topic, but it seems to keep popping up. The house voted on a motion in September that many viewed as a backdoor way of opening up the debate. It garnered a lot of attention when members of the cabinet voted in favour, specifically from Rona Ambrose, Status of Women minister. Just before that motion was voted on a new motion was put forth regarding sex selective abortion.
It keeps creeping up so it should be interesting to see how the conversation develops.
If you want to read more about Vellacott’s awards check them out here:
CBC News – In this article he defends his decision.
Globe and Mail – This one gives a bit more information on the women awarded the medal.
National Post – In this article he likens the women to Martin Luther King Jr.