Monday, December 30, 2013

Why we do what we do

I am continually surprised at the lack of publicly pro-life politicians in this country. Federally there are some, and they are very brave indeed. This posting is not about them. It's about the rest.

In Ontario, I can't even think of one publicly pro-life politician. Maybe there is one. I just wish he or she would make themselves known.

Why is that? Is it because they're scared of being demonized by the pro-abortions? Is is because they are cowards? Is it because they just don't care? Or is it all of the above?

Abortion--it's discussion in any kind of public way; the increasing lack of availability of obtaining accurate abortion statistics; the inability to get a politician to answer questions on the subject; what is all that?

The subject is going underground. It is verboten.

We used to be able to depend on Statistics Canada to provide us with accurate data. But when the quality of those statistics started deteriorating because of non-disclosure by the provinces, Statistics Canada didn't want their name attached to such inaccurate numbers. Now CIHI's numbers are inaccurate and under reported. It isn't very helpful to have numbers that paint only a partial picture of what is going on in Canada with abortion. Accurate statistics should be legislated. Why aren't they?

Federal Access to Information requests increasingly yield "cabinet confidences" and "solicitor-client privilege" excuses at an alarming rate. And information commissioners are toothless to to anything.

Ontario freedom of information requests aren't even allowed anymore. The Ontario Conservatives--who one would hope would keep the Liberals in check--did nothing to stop this from happening. These Conservatives seem to have a don't-talk-about-abortion-ever policy. They're whipped by the Government in power--a mean feat if there ever was one.

All the while children continue to be killed

Those of us who are marginalized because of our pro-life views keep on doing what we can to change the tide. It sometimes feels like we will never make any headway.

Looking over the past year though, I notice a common hopeful thread in all the people who I know who are pro-life. They are committed to the plight of the unborn. Really committed. They are driven. They don't give up and they don't give in. They speak up. Continually. They educate women. They support women in crisis pregnancies. They pray in front of abortion clinics. They write letters to the editor and op-eds for newspapers. They push for legal protection and advise politicians who will listen. They legally challenge the government, sometimes for no pay.

They do what they can, and they never stop doing it. They do it for the children. They inspire me to keep going. They are my super-heroes.

Happy New Year and God bless every one of us.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Open and transparent Ontario government in downward spiral

I finally received my long awaited response from the Ontario Minister of Health, Deb Matthews, regarding my questions to her. And regarding my questions to Premier Wynne.
It is a sad little letter that doesn't actually answer any of my questions, so I'm not really sure why she bothered. Maybe she was just trying to shut me up. 
(I wonder if Deb liked my comic and if Kathleen enjoyed my video?)
Regardless, I'm formulating my reply to her now. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, I know you're dying to read what the Honourable Ms. Matthews wrote, so here it is for your reading enjoyment on this snowy-and-soon-to-be-more-snowy week in Ottawa land.
Thank you for your e-mails advising of your meeting with Madeleine Meilleur, MPP for Ottawa--Vanier, and for your questions regarding records relating to the provision of abortion services, under section 65. (5.7) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). Premier Kathleen Wynne has also referred your e-mail of October 21, 2013, on the same matter to me for response.
The passing of Bill 122, the Broader Public Sector Accountability Act, 2010, which contained the provisions that amended FIPPA so as to bring hospitals under FIPPA, followed the customary legislative process, ensuring there was opportunity for public scrutiny, input and open debate. On October 20, 2010, the bill received first reading, and at that time it was publicly available for review.
After second reading on November 16, 2010, the bill was referred to the Standing Committee on Social Policy. The committee held public hearings on the bill on November 22nd and November 23, 2010, at which time eighteen interested parties made deputations to the committee.The bill was also debated several times in the House after both second and third readings. As a result, there was ample opportunity for views on any issues associated with the bill to be considered. For more detail about the passing of Bill 122 the following Legislative Assembly of Ontario Website link takes you to the Bill 122 summary:
Regarding the Canadian Institute for Health Information’s (CIHI) published abortion statistics, I understand that CIHI specifically indicates that when reporting abortion figures, counts of abortions by province are an underestimate count and that it is currently the best way to produce pan-Canadian comparable data.  For information on CIHI’s compilation of statistical data you may wish to contact CIHI directly.
Thank you again for writing. I hope this information is helpful.

Deb Matthews
cc: Premier Kathleen Wynne
    Madeleine Meilleur, MPP

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Explaining gestational limits legislation

Sean Murphy gives pro-lifers an excellent explanation of the legal status of abortion in Canada.

He explains why a law to restrict abortion (sometimes called abortion incrementalism) would not create a "right" that did not previously exist.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Ontario's "open and transparent initiative" isn't very open or transparent

I asked the Premier of Ontario Kathleen Wynne, a question about her open and transparent government initiative on October 21.

I asked her if the initiative would "include the lifting of the secret curtain on abortion services in Ontario?"

I have followed up that letter, with numerous emails and telephone calls, trying to find out exactly when the Premier would be answering my question.

The only person who has ever called me back was someone from the correspondence unit. All she could tell me was that they had received my letter. When I questioned her further, she had no idea as to when I could expect a response.

The premier's automated response says that:
"Given the volume of emails and letters I receive, and the fact that I may need to share your email with one of my Cabinet ministers or the appropriate government officials for more information, a response may take several business days."
Clearly I've waited longer than "several business days".

On December 10 when I called again, I was told it could take another four weeks, but the receptionist couldn't tell me more than that.

It's already been almost two months now, that I have been waiting.

I was watching Ms. Wynne's video on youtube this week. It did inspire me I have to say.

It inspired me so much, that I posted my own message for Ms. Wynne.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

CIHI 2012 abortion statistics available March 2014

From CIHI:
"The 2012 abortion statistics will be available by March, and are slated to include clinic and hospital breakdown for Quebec. 2011 clinic and hospital breakdowns for Quebec will be available at the same time."

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

CIDA does IPPF site visits in only two of five countries

It seems DFAIT's (formerly CIDA) due diligence criteria of making field visits to ensure that the $6 million funding to IPPF does not include abortion services, didn't happen in three of the five countries involved.

This latest ATIP request to DFAIT was based on an email I had received previously from a CIDA media person that stated:

"Field visits to projects and regular monitoring by CIDA field representatives also provide key information that permits CIDA to determine and assess whether the implementing organization is performing or delivering services in accordance with the terms and conditions of the funding agreement."

So I asked for:

"all information regarding these field visits to the five countries benefiting from the $6 million funding to IPPF."

This is what I received.

There were site visits to Bangladesh between February 12, 2012 and Feb 23, 2012.

And this note:

"All partners were very pleased to have a CIDA officer visit. Some have been receiving funding for several years but have never had the opportunity to welcome a CIDA officer."

Sounds like this is the first time CIDA had done any checking as to how our funds are being used in Bangladesh in several years.

We know that FPAB [IPPF's member association in Bangladesh] does menstrual regulation in Bangladesh, but supposedly no Canadian funds are being used for this. But then we read this comment in the report under their "advocacy program":

"...the management team indicated that FPAB does a lot of advocacy work. Advocacy is part of everything they do, either at the policy making level through activities targeting the MoHFW (Ministry of Health and Family Welfare) or at the district and grassroots levels, whenever there is an opportunity during formal meetings with local authorities and religious leaders at training sessions etc. They envision this staying the same over the next few years."

Would that mean then, advocacy for menstrual regulation and abortions? One would assume so, since it is a well known fact that IPPF wants to make abortion legal everywhere and never shies away from telling us so.

The "background" portion of the information does make one reference that abortion services will not be funded under the initiative.

Pages 76 and 77 identify a site visit to Tanzania, but it says virtually nothing about how the funds are used here. It does say that:

"IPPFAR [IPPF Africa Regional Office] also mobilizes resources for its MAs ([member Associations], and advocates for sexual and reproductive rights at the county, regional and international level."

There's that "advocacy" word again.

And you may be asking, what about the due diligence that our money is not being used for abortion services is Afghanistan, Mali and the Sudan? Good question. My ATIP revealed this:

"Please note, no records were found for Afghanistan, Mail or Sudan."

Apparently those field visits and regular monitoring to three of the five countries to "determine and assess whether the implementing organization is performing or delivering services in accordance with the terms and conditions of the funding agreement." never even happened.

(Note: this ATIP was for the first Annual Progress Report for the project: 27 January - 31 March 2012, and for the Mid-year Report: 1 April - 30 September 2012. There will be additional reports for each year of the funding.)

Saturday, December 7, 2013

MP Maurice Vellacott puts two motions on the Notice Paper

As Mike Schouten, director of points out, Mr. Vellacott has given Canadians two early Christmas presents.

See here for Mr. Velacott's Private Members' Notices of Motions.

M-482 — December 6, 2013 — Mr. Vellacott (Saskatoon—Wanuskewin) — That a special committee of the House be appointed to: (a) study the decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada since 1988 related to children before birth in order to understand what the Supreme Court has said about Parliament’s responsibility with respect to resolving public policy questions in this area; (b) propose options that the House and/or the government could take to address any negative impact these decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada may have had, directly or indirectly, on women, men, children and Canadian society; and that the committee consist of twelve members which shall include seven members from the government party, four members from the Official Opposition and one member from the Liberal Party, provided that the Chair be from the government party; that in addition to the Chair, there be one Vice-chair from each of the opposition parties; that the committee have all of the powers of a Standing Committee as provided in the Standing Orders; that the members to serve on the said committee be appointed by the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs and the membership report of the special committee be presented to the House no later than 20 sitting days after the adoption of this motion; that membership substitutions be permitted to be made from time to time, if required, in the manner provided for in Standing Order 114(2); and that the Committee report its recommendations to the House no later than 6 months after the adoption of this order.

M-483 — December 6, 2013 — Mr. Vellacott (Saskatoon—Wanuskewin) — That a special committee of the House be appointed to determine what legal protections Canada ought to provide to children before birth, in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Canada ratified in 1991, which states that “the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth“; and that the committee consist of twelve members which shall include seven members from the government party, four members from the Official Opposition and one member from the Liberal Party, provided that the Chair be from the government party; that in addition to the Chair, there be one Vice-Chair from each of the opposition parties; that the committee have all of the powers of a Standing Committee as provided in the Standing Orders; that the members to serve on the said committee be appointed by the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs and the membership report of the special committee be presented to the House no later than 20 sitting days after the adoption of this motion; that membership substitutions be permitted to be made from time to time, if required, in the manner provided for in Standing Order 114(2); and that the Committee present its final report to the House no later than 6 months after the adoption of this order.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Let's talk about pro-abortion discrimination and other non-sensical things

Why does the CMA want to make a toxic drug available to Canadian women for medical abortions? Never mind that the drug is really toxic to pre-born children.

The Canadian Medical Association Journal has come out with a commentary by Shelia Dunn and Rebecca Cook, that is advocating for the use of the abortion drug mifepristone (RU-486).

(Interesting that the article was available on-line two days ago but suddenly disappeared from view yesterday. Unless you want to pay for it.)

The two page commentary doesn't tell us of any of the risks of this drug, which itself is very troubling. Especially since one of the writers is a doctor.

One of those risks just happens to be death.

Here's what the FDA says about this drug:
"Since its approval in September 2000, the Food and Drug Administration has received reports of serious adverse events, including several deaths, in the United States following medical abortion with mifepristone and misoprostol. Each time FDA receives a report of a serious adverse event or death after medical abortion with these drugs, the agency carefully analyzes the available scientific information to determine whether or not the serious adverse event or death is related to the use of the drugs. As previously reported by the agency, several of the women who died in the United States died from sepsis (severe illness caused by infection of the bloodstream) after medical abortion with mifepristone and misoprostol. Sepsis is a known risk related to any type of abortion.  Most of these women were infected with the same type of bacteria,  known as Clostridium sordellii. The symptoms in these cases of infection were not the usual symptoms of sepsis. We do not know whether using mifepristone and misoprostol caused these deaths."
Then there's this priceless piece of advice in the CMAJ article:
"Failure to provide essential drugs that only women need, including mifepristone, is a form of discrimination that Canada is obligated to remedy."
What's this about "discrimination" against women? What about the "discrimination" against pre-born children if this drug becomes legal? Don't Canadians already discriminate enough against the very youngest in our society, with the 100,000 plus abortions committed every year?

They saved the best for last:
:"Ultimately, the availability of mifepristone in Canada would provide an important therapy that would help to optimize the health of Canadian women."
What exactly, is "essential" about a drug that can kill and seriously hurt women? Calling toxic poison a "therapy" to "optimize the health of Canadian women" sounds like something out of Aldoux Huxley's Brave new World. I shudder to think.

The pro-abortions need to listen to themselves for a change, instead of just talking all the time. They are so wrapped up in their own abortion dogma, they don't even make any sense. I dare say, even to themselves.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Why not adoption?

I was gobsmacked today, when I heard that only 2% of single women who face an unplanned pregnancy, choose adoption. That is unbelievable.

This morning Anastasia Bowles, program director of Adoption in Canada at LifeCanada spoke to Shelley McLean at CFRA about adoption. Listen to the six minute podcast. It is the entry for November 27 at 6:17 AM. You might learn something new about adoption. I did.

Anastasia tells us that there is a lot of confusion out there about how adoption is practiced. She clears up some of the negative connotations on adoption.

She also tells us that a woman these days has much more control about the adoption process than in days gone by. Like how there can be open adoptions where the woman can select the adoptive parents. How she can negotiate for future contact with her child with the adoptive parents. That adoptions don't cost the birth mother anything.

A woman places her child for adoption, or entrusts her child; she doesn't give up her child.

One of the issues that Adoption in Canada is hoping to address, is that there isn't enough post-adoption support out there, and this is something LifeCanada is working on. They have created a website with resources and information on adoption.

Adoption is a good thing. It gives a child the chance to live her life. It gives loving parents a child. What could be more important than this?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Stephanie Gray debates Dr. Fraser Fellowes

In Toronto recently, Stephanie Gray debated Dr. Fraser Fellowes who is a late term abortionist.

This was a great debate and as expected, Stephanie ran circles around Dr. Fellowes. Though I must admit I have a lot of respect for Dr. Fellowes who agreed to debate Stephanie in the first place. If I was pro-choice, I wouldn't debate Stephanie.

Now I'd really love to see Joyce Arthur debate Stephanie, although the only time she was invited to debate her that I'm aware of, Arthur declined.

But Dr. Fellowes did debate Stephanie.

Watch for yourself.

Conservative policy convention - re-opening abortion debate?

Dear Mr. Anders,

At the recent Conservative policy convention, grass roots delegates voted on two pro-life initiatives: condemning sex selection abortion and euthanasia.

I have a couple of questions I would like to ask you regarding what the Sun reported after the convention:

"And he [Rob Anders] says on “gendercide,” that is, gender-selective abortion, as well as on euthanasia, “social conservatives need to know they feel the love here.”

“Social conservatism is a significant component of the Conservative Party in Canada and I think they spoke today. Social conservatives should be happy,” says Anders.

“It’s very important to listen to the base of the party. I am the base of the party in a lot of ways. I’m the canary in the mine. I’m always glad when the base exercises its voice.”

On euthanasia? “We’re pro-life.”

Does the condemnation on gendercide reopen the abortion debate? He smiles. He says his statements speak for themselves."
I understand that grass roots Conservatives made their voices known at the convention. But making one's beliefs known, and acting on those beliefs, are two very separate issues. Therefore I am hoping you can provide me with some clarifications to these statements.

1) You stated at the convention that the Conservatives are Pro-life on euthanasia. I notice that you did not say the same of abortion. Is the Conservative party pro-life on abortion?

2) Could you please expand on the Sun report that states: "Does the condemnation on gendercide reopen the abortion debate? He smiles. He says his statements speak for themselves." Are you reopening the abortion debate? If yes, what political action will the Conservatives take to accomplish this? It is a well known fact that Prime Minister Harper has stated unequivocally that the Conservatives will not reopen the abortion debate. How do you reconcile these two facts, as they are contradictory?

I am sure you will appreciate that social conservatives such as myself, must be very clear on the Conservatives' positions on life issues before we next go to the polls.

As it stands now, and as long as Mr. Harper remains as leader of the party, I would not be able to, in good conscience, vote Conservative at the next election. This is why it is crucial that I and others like me, completely understand what the Conservative party is saying regarding abortion.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to respond to the questions/concerns I have raised.

Patricia Maloney

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Tax-payer funded pinkos at CBC

For some reason I am always surprised at how pink the CBC is. Like this morning where in the space of a half hour, I listened to two of Michael Enright's goes-without-saying-lefty-culture topics that forms the ethos of our tax payer funded national broadcaster.

The first was from UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, who talked about man made climate change as being a given. Clearly she has never read the National Post which if she had, she'd learn there is a completely different side to that issue. But no, that doesn't suit the CBC. It is simply a given that this is settled science. Everyone knows that right?

The second was as essay from John Miller Demos in Lithuania: Hey hey! Ho ho! The thing I hate has got to go!

So what kind of demos do Miller attend? Well the pinko variety of course. The environment, against capitalism, anti-abortion and women's rights protests, etc.

Again from listening to his essay, it is easy to simply know that, hey aren't all my demos just so freaking righteous?

Now maybe, just maybe, if I listened to the CBC a little longer this morning, I'd hear someone put forth some discussion that maybe, just maybe, climate change may not actually be man made. Or about the 20 thousand strong pro-lifers who demo in Ottawa every year at the annual pro-life rally.

But somehow I don't think so. So I had to turn the radio off. I was starting to feel nauseous.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Conservative policy convention - But what does it mean?

This week I received an email from Minister Jason Kenney. It came with a link to an article in the Calgary Sun regarding the recent Conservative Party's policy convention in Calgary.

After reading the article, I replied to the Minister with this email.

Dear Minister Kenney,
I was guardedly happy to hear that the Conservative grass roots delegates have voted on two pro-life initiatives, condemning sex selection abortion and euthanasia.

This is welcome news. I have a couple of questions that I would really appreciate if you could answer for me.

What I would like to know now is, how will your government respond to these issues, in particular the condemning of sex-selection abortion? It is encouraging that the delegates condemn the practice, but condemning sex-selection abortion as a policy of the Conservative party is one thing, but action taken by Prime Minister Harper and the government, in Parliament, is another one entirely.

And how does this jibe with Mark Warawa's own motion on the same subject, a motion that was deemed non-votable because it was outside of federal jurisdiction (supposedly because it was under provincial jurisdiction)? That is, why is it legitimate for a federal party to condemn the practice, but outside of Parliament's jurisdiction to condemn the practice?

The Conservative base has spoken on sex-selection abortion. However, they also supported the Unborn Victims of Crime policy resolution at the 2008 Conservative policy convention. Yet, five years later, that support still has not translated into any kind of policy, bill, or motion. With all due respect, Mr. Kenney, if the Conservative base speaks in such a clear way on something as important as this, but that never actually translates into concrete action by the Conservative government, I don't see why I would get excited about it.

I must be very honest with you. I really need to see some changes in the value system of the leadership of the Conservative party before the next election. As it stands now, and if, the Conservative government continues to support the status quo on abortion (i.e. if it maintains its pro-abortion position) and/or Mr. Harper remains leader, I could not in good conscience vote Conservative. I would probably vote for the Christian Heritage party since I couldn't vote NDP or Liberal.

Mr. Kenney the lack of any real pro-life initiatives coming from the Conservatives is very troubling for me and for many other social conservatives in this fine country. I believe this really is becoming a conscience issue for many of us.

I sincerely hope that we will all see some real substantial changes in this regard before the next election.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to respond to the questions/concerns I have raised.

Patricia Maloney

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Exposing the specificity of Exposing Crisis Pregnancy Centres in BC

Today I re-read Faye Sonier's article, reprinted in LifeCanada's Journal, on the BC Crisis Pregnancy Centres defamation case against Joyce Arthur Defamation Suit and the Tactic of Being Vague.

Faye says:
Unfortunately the court found that the report was so unclear in its attributions of wrong-doing that a reasonable person reading the report wouldn’t necessarily think that the Vancouver and Burnaby CPCs were guilty of committing those particular ethical breaches. As the judge ruled, “it is difficult to say that the ‘deceptive’ tactics reflect personally on the plaintiffs. The impugned statements do not have any specificity; the Report describes the tactics in broad generalizations.”
I always thought Arthur was writing about BC's CPCs, for the same reasons Faye does:
And keep in mind, that these allegations are made within a report entitled Exposing Crisis Pregnancy Centres in British Columbia, where that title appears on the top of each page of the report, wherein the stated goal of the report is to “find out what these centres were doing and saying to women in B.C., and whether they were engaging in deceptive or harmful practices,” and where the appendix lists only B.C. CPCs. I think the average reader would likely assume that the allegations made within the report apply to B.C. CPCs, and likely to the two CPCs which launched the suit against Arthur.
What exactly is not specific about "Exposing Crisis Pregnancy Centres in British Columbia" appearing as a title on every page of the report?

I decided to take another look at my ATIP to Status of Women regarding the infamous $27,400 funding Joyce Arthur received to write this horrid report.

Here are a few "specific" references to CPCs in BC from that ATIP. And remember. This document is what clinched the funding for Arthur.

From Arthur's proposal:
There are CPC's in almost every city in BC. With the closure of many women's centres, and the brief office hours of most family planning clinics around BC, comprehensive and non-judgmental reproductive services for women (and referrals to such services) are becoming very difficult to access. In some areas, women may only be able to access the local CPC. In fact, CPC's are striving to replace feminist-based agencies. They even obtained government funding from the BC Liberals while funding cuts for Women's Centres were being planned. 
It is critical to research and evaluate the extent and impact of CPCs' reach and influence in BC. Armed with this knowledge, we can take concrete steps to stem the tide, by educating women and the public about the true nature of these centres, lobbying government to stop funding them, using the media to publicize the CPC anti-feminist agenda and tactics, and promoting and establishing feminist-based alternative services for women.
Under the document entitled Goal and Objectives in Arthur's proposal:
The overall goal of this social justice project is to minimize the harmful impact of CPC's through public education. As part of that goal, we hope to be able to accomplish the following objectives:
  • research the current situation in BC -- for example, numbers, locations, sizes, and resources of CPC's and similar agencies
  • research community influence of CPC's — for example, relationship between them and other women's groups, whether legitimate agencies refer to them, alternative services in the community impact on minority groups and youth in particular, etc.
  • research how CPC's shape public policy and discourse on reproductive rights — for example:
    • – analyze how these groups are co-opting feminist language and strategies while using them to foster a right-wing patriarchal agenda that promotes a traditional, narrow role for women as wives and mothers
    • – evaluate how and to what extent their anti-feminist agenda asserts itself into the public consciousness and negatively impacts women's ability to achieve equality
    • – evaluate their relative success at supplanting feminist-based resources in local communities in BC, and look at ways to counter this
  • solicit and collect stories from women who have been harmed or deceived by CPC services
  • research and try to curtail CPC's public funding sources
  • publicity expose the anti-woman and anti-feminist agenda of CPC's using various public education and media initiatives, and by doing so, work to mitigate discriminatory attitudes towards women
  • shift public awareness by alerting and educating the following target audiences (in BC):
    • — women
    • — aboriginal, minority, and youth group— women's groups and other community organizations
    • — health professionals and institutions who might refer to CPC's, including doctors, walk-in clinics, hospitals, counselors, family planning clinics — government
    • — public
Under section 24. JUSTIFICATION
Expected concrete results: 
1. To examine the state and organization of CPC's in B.C., including numbers, size, locations, funding sources, their influence in the community and how they shape public policy discourse on reproductive health issues
2. To examine the ways in which CPCs disseminate deceptive and misleading information to circumscribe women's right to full reproductive agency
3. To produce a report detailing the research findings, which will be used as a tool to inform the public about the anti-woman agenda and practices of CPCs, with a particular focus on educating women's organizations, health professionals and government as well as individual women
4. To implement any changes recommended in the report
5. To persuade CPCs to alter their current practices in order to ensure women have full choice over their reproductive health 
In Arthur's Summary Of Expected Outcomes:
  • Public discourse on the issue of women's reproductive choices is drawn from a broad spectrum of perspectives, including a feminist perspective
  • Diverse women throughout BC have full access to comprehensive arid nonjudgmental reproductive services
And finally, this from Status of Women Canada, in their recommendation for approval of the funding to Arthur, and SWC's brief description of the initiative:
This initiative seeks to ensure access by a diversity of women in British Columbia to comprehensive and non-jugmental reproductive services as well as a representative speck of perspectives on women's reproductive rights. It has two related components, research and public education. The first component will consist of examining the current trend towards the proliferation of crisis pregnancy centres operating in the province and their role in shaping public discourse on women's reproductive rights. The second part of the initiative will be to inform the public, educators, health professionals and governments about the results of this research. This information will help ensure the public has an accurate understanding of the various approaches to supporting towards women's reproductive choice, as part of an overall strategy to provide the public with a comprehensive understanding of women's reproductive rights. A set of indicators will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of both components of this initiative in achieving planned outcomes. 
There's only one question left to ask.

If Arthur's report is not "specifically" referring to Crisis Pregnancy Centres in British Columbia, then why would Status of Women Canada, use funds from the Women's Program, whose mandate "is to achieve the full participation of women in the economic, social and democratic life of Canada. Funding is provided to eligible organizations in support of projects at the local, regional and national levels", hand over Canadian tax dollars, to a Canadian person, for a report that is about Crisis Pregnancy Centres not in Canada?

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Providing women better access to opt out of parenting

It today's National Post we learn that it's not enough that women can "opt out" of  being pregnant. Now men want to "opt out" too: Opting out: Women can have an abortion,some men say they should have a choice over parenthood too.

Laurie Shrage professor of philosophy and women’s and gender studies says:
“If a man accidentally conceives a child with a woman, and does not want to raise the child with her, what are his choices? Surprisingly, he has few options in the United States,” Prof. Shrage argued in an op-ed published in The New York Times in June — the piece that began the wave of notes from worried men. “In consenting to sex,” she writes, “Neither a man nor a woman gives consent to become a parent.”
Is that like, if I consent to drinking and driving, and then run over a pedestrian, it's okay? After all, I didn't give my consent to kill the pedestrian.

In the same article we also learn Joyce Arthur's take on the subject:
“[But] before we expect men to be given that option of opting out, we need to make sure women do have really good access to abortion and we need to ensure the government can step in for men who opt out.”
I think Arthur has a point. We really do need to make sure women have really good access to abortion.

We know that women can now have an abortion in most hospitals in Canada. And that women can now have an abortion in numerous stand alone abortion clinics across the country. Women can also have an abortion in many doctor's offices in Canada.

But I think that from now on, women should also be able to get an abortion at all the small hospitals in Canada as well. Also, they should be able to have an abortion at all walk-in medical clinics too.

Then I think we should seriously consider providing abortions for women who want to "opt out", at dental clinics across the country. After all, dental clinics have doctors and technicians on staff, it would be easy to do and this would ensure that women have really really good access to abortion.

Last but not least, we should also consider providing abortions in Nursing homes across the country. As the Canadian population ages, there will be more and more of these institutions opening, and this would go a long way in ensuring that women have really really really good access to abortion. This would allow a woman to "opt out" of pregnancy, when she's visiting her old mother or father. Assuming they haven't already been euthanized that is.

Yes, the possibilities are endless.

Friday, November 8, 2013

How to win friends and influence people - the Conservative way

I keep getting these super annoying emails from Ontario Conservative MPPs trying to woo me. They must be getting ready for an election.

Each time I receive such an email, I respond to the MPP with a question, asking them why they did nothing to stop the Liberal government from changing our to access information rights.

I've received at least 11 of these junk emails. In turn I have sent 11 replies asking a question about the abortion exclusion clause that the Liberals added to FIPPA under the pretext of "Broader Accountability". Not.

I'm still waiting for an answer from at least one Conservative MPP, brave enough and principled enough, to speak up. Surely there is one, right?

So far I've heard from:
Andrew Boddington
Tim Hudak (3)
Jim Wilson
Lisa Macleod
Vic Fedeli (3)
Doug Holyday
Monte McNaughton

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

C-510 ATIP from Justice

Here are the results of my ATIP from Justice on C-510.

This was my request:
"all correspondence relating to Bill C-510 ( Roxanne's Law) between and within the following offices/departments: the Justice Minister's Office, Prime Minister's Office, Privy Council Office, Justice Department, the public and the media, including briefing notes, talking points, reports, emails, letters, and any other documents that reference bill C-510."
As I stated before, there isn't much there that isn't already publicly available.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Maybe the Conservatives are finally getting a grip

It seems the rank and file Conservatives have some pretty good heads on their shoulders at this weekend's Tory convention.
"A motion condemning sex-selective abortion passed with overwhelming support among delegates. Earlier this year, a group of Conservative MPs kept a similar controversial motion from reaching the Commons. "Right now in the world there are over 200 million missing girls because of the practice of using ultrasounds to find out if its a boy or girl," said Vancouver-area MP Mark Warawa. "Girls have equal value as boys, we should not be discriminating against them in any form."There was a closer vote on a policy that "the Conservative Party will not support any legislation to legalize euthanasia or assisted suicide." It ultimately passed, but one delegate from Nova Scotia encouraged delegates to put themselves in the shoes of a person dying in pain who can't find palliative care."
So what was all the fuss about last year, when Stephen Harper, Joyce Arthur and the rest of the pro-abortion crowd all went hairy ape over Mark Warawa's motion against sex-selection? Seems their pathetic attempts at intimidation didn't stand the test of reason, morality, or logic. In short, they're talking through their ears.

Maybe Mr. Harper will finally listen up, and heed what his grass root members are so very clearly telling him. Because many of us, myself included, may not vote Conservative next time. First we need to see more changes in Conservative policy/laws on life issues.

A big part of the Tory base is Social Conservative. We've already been fooled into thinking we'd see some support for life "once the Conservatives got elected". It didn't happen. Then again , "once we got a majority". It didn't happen. You can fool us once or twice, but I wouldn't hedge my bets on round three.

We're watching. And waiting.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Duffy VS Harper: Dueling conservative duo

Who said what when? How will it end? Will Harper? Will Duffy? Who knows? The Shadow knows.

Stay tuned to the next shocking episode of this season's new hit show, shot live in Ottawa:

As The Senate Turns

(On the front page of today's National Post)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Government data belongs to the people

Kathleen Wynne wants to know what we think about open and transparent government.

She wants to
"unlock public data so that you can help us solve problems and find new ways of doing things.  I believe that government data belongs to the people of Ontario and so we will make government data open by default, limiting access only to safeguard privacy, security and confidentiality."
Good idea.

Here is a survey where you can ask her to undo Dalton McGuinty's decision to hide abortion services.

I just did.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Open and transparent government is coming to Ontario

Dear Ms. Wynne,

I am very happy to hear that you intend to provide Ontario citizens with more access to information and finally give us open and transparent government.

This is a great initiative and I fully support you on this. It is also long overdue.

As you know, in 2012 Mr. Mcguinty quietly excluded the costs of all abortion services from the Freedom of Information and Privacy Act (FIPPA). I learned this when my last access to information request on abortion services to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care was denied. Previous requests had all been granted.

As you probably also know, this was the only medical service in Ontario to be excluded from FIPPA, which is very odd indeed. Why would Mr. McGuinty exclude abortion services, but not heart operations or hip replacement surgery? We have no idea because he never told us why.

We do know that it had nothing to do with privacy concerns, because the data I was asking for didn't include any private information on patients, hospitals or doctors. I only wanted totals of procedures done and dollars spent. So this has been a real mystery to all Ontarions who believe open and transparent is a good thing.

Spending our tax dollars in secret isn't a very transparent business model. I'm sure you will agree.

Considering that in 2010 Ontario paid between $30 and 50 million for abortions, un-hiding this information would go a long way towards achieving the fiscal responsibility you are looking for.

Can you please tell me if your plans for open and transparent government will include the lifting of the secret curtain on abortion services in Ontario?

I look forward to hearing back from you soon.

Patricia Maloney

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Meet your MPP and ask why abortions services are excluded from FIPPA

I met with my MPP Madeleine Meilleur this week, about the recent changes to FIPPA to exclude abortion services. I had already written to her.

(In this meeting, Ms. Meilleur seemed somewhat confused as to what this change to FIPPA actually was. She did state at the end of our conversation that this is not her portfolio [Health]. Understood. But this is her own government's changes to the law. She also didn't know what CIHI was. Again a surprise, especially since the change to the law, and CIHI were both mentioned in her response to my original letter to her.)

I asked her why the government put the abortion exclusion clause into FIPPA.

Ms. Meilleur responded:
"We amended the Freedom of Information Act at the request of the hospitals to maintain the quality and the privacy of the information, so it was not specific to abortion. It's among other things [in the act]. I don't think you would like your private information to be disclosed to the public." 
I explained to Ms. Meilleur, that the change had nothing to do with privacy. That I agree that private information should never be released, however there is no private information in what I'm asking for. I'm asking for totals of abortion statistics, those done in hospitals, in private physician offices and clinics. I said that private and personal information is already excluded from the act. I said that because it is important to have good statistics, and it doesn't matter if you are pro-life or pro-choice, we need to have accurate statistics for all health concerns for women.

I asked her again, saying that I'm just trying to understand why the Ontario government did this. They haven't excluded information for woman who have breast cancer, or knee surgeries. So why did they exclude abortion services?

Ms.Meilleur responded:
"The answer is that at the request of the hospitals, at the request of the physician, this was supported. I know your objective but the objective of this government, and of past governments, who have put in place the Freedom of Information and Privacy Act, so it was added to protect certain information, so this was added, because of concerns the hospitals have, so that's why it's in place."
Again she brought the discussion back to privacy, which is clearly not what this is about. In any event, instead I asked her:
"So are you saying that the hospitals and physicians asked to have this excluded?"
Ms. Meilleur responded:
"When they do an amendment it's not because the government wants an amendment, it's at the request of others and its discussed, and put forward after wide consultation."
When I asked her to expand on that she said:
"Well you know what, I don't know all the details. So I think these questions should be put to the Ministry of Health, as to how it's come about."
So did the government consult the hospitals and doctors on this abortion exclusion clause? First I've heard of this.

She added that consultations were done with the public at large. Again a surprise to me. She said that usually that's the way it's done, the way that amendments are brought about. She said I should ask the Minister and that the Minister would give me specific details. She said she didn't know all the details around the changes.

Then I explained CIHI and their role and asked the question: how can I use CIHI's numbers for research when they are inaccurate? She said didn't know about this organization and couldn't answer my question.

She said that the questions I had asked her in my letter, were sent to the Minister's office, so the response I received would have came from the Minister.

She finished with this:
"Send your questions to the Minister who has the expertise, they have all the answers."
That I did. Write to Ms. Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long Term Care. Who has all the answers. I'm dying to know what they are.

I hope others will go to their own MPPs and ask him or her about why this change to FIPPA.

Minister of Health Deb Matthews has all the answers on abortion exclusion clause

I met with my MPP this week Madeleine Meilleur (see here for what she told me).

I have now sent a letter to Minister Deb Matthews with these questions, as per Ms. Meilleur's suggestion. She told me that Deb Matthews has all the answers.

1) First of all, what rationale did the government have for excluding abortion services from FIPPA?

2) Second, since taxpayers fund abortion, in the same way they fund all medical services, why was this one service singled out for exclusion, when no other services were excluded?

Ms. Meilleur's letter of response to me regarding those two questions, stated that "the inclusion of hospitals under FIPPA is a strong indication of the Government's commitment to enhancing openness and transparency in the public sector."

She also mentioned that CIHI publishes Ontario statistics in their report and can be used for "research purposes", and that the changes "were debated in the Legislature".

So based on Ms. Meilleur's response (which didn't actually answer my questions), I added four additional questions for Ms. Matthews.

3. Can you please explain how exempting abortion services from FIPPA "enhances openness and transparency in the public sector"?
4. I agree that CIHI publishes abortion statistics for Ontario. However CIHI's statistics are grossly under reported for numerous reasons including the fact that CIHI does not base their numbers on OHIP billings; abortions done in private physician's offices are not included; and many clinics do not report abortions performed. In fact CIHI's statistics for Ontario are understated by at least 45%.
Please see here for more accurate abortion statistics I did for 2010 based on OHIP billings:

Can you explain to me how someone doing research into Ontario's abortion statistics, would use information that is inaccurate?
5. The letter states that "These amendments were debated and passed in the Legislature." Can you please provide me with the links to Hansard where the abortion exclusion clause was debated in the Legislature?

6) Ms. Meilleur stated that the changes to FIPPA were made because the hospitals and doctors requested the changes. Can you please tell me how and when these consultations took place. Were they meetings or submitted briefs?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

What's going on in Bangladesh?

Detective: Mr. Smith, did you murder your wife?
Mr. Smith: No detective, I did not.
Detective: Can I have that in writing please?
Mr. Smith: I, John Smith, did not murder my wife. Signed John Smith.
Detective: Okay Mr. Smith, you're free to go. Have a nice weekend!

This is similar to how it appears CIDA satisfies its due diligence responsibility, regarding our $6 million funding to IPPF, as it relates to Menstrual Regulation (MR) services in Bangladesh.

(MR is an abortion only if the woman is pregnant; so not all MR's amount to abortions. Because they don't check whether the woman is pregnant first, laws that ban abortions can be circumvented, since they don't actually know that she is pregnant. But if she is pregnant, then MS is an abortion.)

Here is correspondence between CIDA and IPPF on this subject. I received the information through an Access to Information request. There are two separate instances of such correspondence.

The first exchange occurred on October 3, 2011.

(Note: I use the word "IPPF" to identify the IPPF employee in the email exchange. "CIDA" is used to identify the CIDA employee.)
Dear IPPF,
Just as ___  predicted on Friday, CIDA is now being called on to discuss IPPF's activities in Bangladesh, specifically with regard to "menstrual extraction" or "menstrual regulation". Can you please provide information on whether or not IPPF supports this practice/offers this service in Bangladesh, and if you do, how? How can concerned donors be assured that funding to Bangladesh will not support this practice if it can in fact be called abortion or "an abortion-related-service"? What is IPPF's position? (If possible, can you also provide the text of the response you issued to the media in response to the same inquiry?)
FYI, our response will likely re-emphasize what IPPF and CIDA have maintained---that Canadian funding will not support abortion-related services---, but the decision is far from mine to make.  
Thanks very much, 
I hope you are well. 
I am happy to send you the IPPF Bangladesh Brief in response to the questions you have posed. I would like to particularly highlight that menstrual regulation is not a part of IPPF's proposal to CIDA. 
As discussed, our revised proposal focuses on the delivery of increased access to family planning services. 
I do apologise for the delay in sending this brief to you. As you know, our budget meetings have been ongoing this week, meaning we were a bit thin on the ground. Thank you for your patience and understanding! 
Please do let us know if you require any further information. We are always happy to help! 
With best wishes, 
Thanks very much for the information! We appreciate your help, as always. I hope the budget meetings were fruitful. 
Then on March 15 2013 we see another similar exchanger between IPPF and CIDA.
Further to our conversation today, I wanted to clarify something from your recent Semi-Annual Report. 
In a document you provided us a little while back entitled IPPF, Bangladesh and Menstrual Regulation, you indicate that "No Canadian money will be used for abortion services or menstrual regulation services." However, in your recent Semi-Annual report to CIDA (April-September 2012), menstrual regulation is listed as an activity undertaken by FPAB. 
Could you please confirm that, as per the document quoted above, CIDA funds are not used to cover these menstrual regulation services undertaken by FPAB? 
Many thanks ___. Wishing you a wonderful weekend! 
Dear CIDA, 
I, ____ confirm that no funding from CIDA will be used for abortion services or menstrual regulation services including activities undertaken by FBAB in Bangladesh. 
As per the IPPF, Bangladesh and Menstrual Regulation brief, we confirm that FPAB does offer menstrual regulation services. This is in line with government regulations and other service providers in Bangladesh. 
However, no CIDA funds are used to support these activities. 
Well there you have it folks. Right from the horse's mouth.
(The document in question that was in IPPF's semi-annual report.)

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Standing up for the unborn

Today we had Life Chain in Ottawa at the corner of Montreal Rd. and St. Laurent Blvd. It was raining and cold and miserable but there was a good turnout.

Six people gave me the finger. Why do people who don't agree with someone else's viewpoint, feel the need to do this? If they feel there is nothing wrong with abortion, then why must they insult those who believe there is something morally wrong with abortion? It doesn't make sense.

One woman who was driving, and waiting for the traffic light to change where I stood, was obviously very angry with what we were doing. She was yelling at me. I watched her, feeling incredibly for her.

A short video of the Life Chain.

National Post not afraid to talk about abortion

Hey Globe and Mail. Get a load of what Paul Russell is saying in yesterday's National Post.

Maybe you could learn something about what your readers want to talk about. Or not. Your choice.

Friday, October 4, 2013

CIDA and IPPF and abortion - Fact Sheets

In February this year I requested the following information from CIDA:

"Briefing notes, memoranda, and question period notes sent to or from the Vice-President level and above regarding funding to abortion, maternal and child health or reproductive health programming. From January 2012 to April 30, 2012."

This ATIP had already been completed for someone else and was available for the asking. So I asked for it.

Below are some of the more interesting pages, that appear to be briefing notes to the Minister, regarding IPPF's funding of $6 Million, that mention abortion and how we don't fund it.

One excerpt states:

"Is there a distinction between abortion and contraception?

Modem contraceptive methods include hormonal methods (i.e. the pill, injectables and implants), IUDs, condoms and modern vaginal methods (e.g., the diaphragm and spermicides). Abortion is not a means of contraception. This is enshrined in Paragraph 8.25 of the ICPD Cairo Programme of Action, which reads: "In no case should abortion be promoted as a method of family planning. All Governments and relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations are urged to strengthen their commitment to women's health, to deal with the health impact of unsafe abortion as a major public health concern and to reduce the recourse to abortion through expanded and improved family-planning services. Prevention of unwanted pregnancies must always be given the highest priority and every attempt should be made to eliminate the need for abortion." Guided by paragraph 8.25 of the Cairo Programme of Action, organizations such as UNFPA do not support or promote abortion as a method of family planning."

Another excerpt states:

"Responsive only:

IPPF: CIDA's contribution to IPPF will help improve the delivery of comprehensive and integrated maternal and child health-care services to poor, marginalized and high-risk communities in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Mali, Sudan and Tanzania.

Abortion and family planning: In keeping with existing international agreements, the Government of Canada does not promote abortion as a means of family planning, either domestically or internationally."

and this about the funding to IPPF:

"Abortion services will not be funded under this program. On-request abortion is illegal in the five target countries. IPPF has also indicated that menstrual regulation will not be funded under this program.

To support this program, CIDA and IPPF signed a contribution agreement in the amount of $6 million on January 27, 2012."


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Defund abortion rally in Ottawa

Took place at four places in Ottawa. I was at MPP Phil Mcneely's office.

It's time to do it.

And the video

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Hiding abortion statistics - enhances openess and transparency

A while ago I wrote to my MPP about the changes to FIPPA that excluded abortion services.

Below is her response to me. Below that, is my latest letter in reply to her response.

Dear Ms. Meilleur,

Thank you for your September 20th response to my letter.

However you failed to answer my two questions.

Your letter does state that "the inclusion of hospitals under FIPPA is a strong indication of the Government's commitment to enhancing openness and transparency in the public sector."
You also mention that CIHI publishes Ontario statistics in their report and can be used for "research purposes", and that the changes "were debated" in the Legislature".

So in addition to my previous two questions I would like you to answer, I'd like to add three additional questions, based on your current letter to me.

3. Can you please explain how exempting abortion services from FIPPA "enhances openness and transparency in the public sector"?
4. I agree that CIHI publishes abortion statistics for Ontario. However CIHI's statistics are grossly under reported for numerous reasons including the fact that CIHI does not base their numbers on OHIP billings; abortions done in private physician's offices are not included; and many clinics do not report abortions performed. In fact CIHI's statistics for Ontario are understated by at least 45%.
Please see here for more accurate abortion statistics I did for 2010 based on OHIP billings.

Can you explain to me how someone doing research into Ontario's abortion statistics, would use information that is inaccurate?
5. You state that "These amendments were debated and passed in the Legislature." Can you please provide me with the links to Hansard where the abortion exclusion clause was debated in the Legislature?

I look forward to hearing back from you soon with answers to my five questions.

Patricia Maloney

Saturday, September 28, 2013

CIDA - when due diligence isn't diligent

(Updated Sept 30, 2013)

When the government spends our money, you'd think they'd know what they're spending it on, right? Wrong.

In my last entry on my ATIP to CIDA regarding the $6 million funding to IPPF for the five countries Afghanistan, Mali, Tanzania, Bangladash and Sudan, I told you that IPPF was supplying the contraceptive drug Jadelle to Tanzania. (Note that CIDA is now part of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada)

I knew this because Jadelle was identified in the semi-annual yearly report I received, as being used (in Tanzania). In fact it was the only drug identified in the report. I thought well, what other kinds of implants, contraceptives etc., are they using? Don't we want to know that too?

Time for another ATIP.

Based on my previous ATIP which yielded the semi-annual and annual progress reports, were a list of  "Approved Activities", along with units delivered for each activity, and what the targets were.

For example, for oral contraceptives, 830,552 services were delivered in Year 2 (1 April - 30 Sept 2012), with the target for the year being 1,663,868, and with a target of 5,199,995 for the entire duration of the project.

Other "Approved Activities" that caught my eye ,were 1121; "sterilization services", item 1124, "gynaecological services"; item 1128, "other SRH medical services"; item 1211 "family planning services"; item 1221, 1222 and 1223, "develop/produce/deliver Behavior Change Communication  material"; item 1323: "injectables"; item 1324, "implants"; and item 1325: "other hormonal methods".

So I sent another ATIP, and asked to see a further breakdown of these activities, for example, what kinds of contraceptives were they delivering, and how many of each kind? And, for the "other SRH medical services", what kind of "other SRH medical services", and their breakdown by numbers, for each different category of service, and so on for each of the above services.

How do we know they aren't sneaking in abortion services into that category, or giving advice to a woman to obtain an abortion? We don't. Not unless we can see the breakdowns.

Guess what I received? Nothing. The response I received was:

"Please be advised that after a through search of our file, no records related to your request exist."

This was a huge surprise, especially since the contribution agreement (received through another ATIP) states that the Annual Workplan will contain "A list of equipment and materials to be purchased with CIDA's contribution."

I was looking for that list of equipment and materials. But nothing existed? How could that be? One would assume that the program area would have this information in order to satisfy the terms of the funding agreement, n'est pas? When I talked to the director involved in the ATIP area of CIDA, his response was that since CIDA didn't hold those records, there was nothing he could to to help me. He followed up or discussion with an email that said this:

"the Department's Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) office can only provide records which already exist at the time of the request and since the legislation only applies to the Government of Canada, we cannot and do not request documents from third parties. Further, this office is not able to provide information on the content of the records, which are produced by program officials. The former Canadian International Development Agency's ATIP office provided you with records regarding this project and as your inquiry below is more in the nature of a policy question, we discussed that questions regarding programs and program/project management are more properly addressed in correspondence to the Minister responsible."

But how can CIDA satisfy it's due diligence responsibility, if they don't insist that the organization to which they dole out our money, informs CIDA exactly how our money is being spent?

So I contacted the Minister, Christian Paradis:

"I have requested a series of access to information requests from CIDA, regarding the$6 Million funding given to International Planned Parenthood.

My latest request yielded a response that "no records relate to your file exist".

...The numbers identified in the semi-annual and annual reports I did receive, are at a very high level and are only a summary report. These numbers do not constitute the due-diligence required to provide the level of detail that I requested in my ATIP.

The contribution agreement states that the Annual Workplan will contain "A list of equipment and materials to be purchased with CIDA's contribution." I am looking for this breakdown of these materials as noted in my ATIP.

...The program area should have this information in order to satisfy the terms of the funding agreement. And since taxpayers are the source of this funding, this information should be readily available to Canadians like myself. This is the information I am seeking with this ATIP request.

Here is Mr. Paradis' office short and sweet response to my question:

"Unfortunately, I am unable to provide you with any detailed numbers identified in the semi-annual and annual reports."

So how is our money being spent? And is it being used for abortion services? Why doesn't CIDA know? And why doesn't Mr. Paradis know?

Lots of questions. Not too many answers.

Friday, September 27, 2013

MP Maurice Vellacott speaks out

MP Maurice Vellacott sent this letter to Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (the old CIDA) regarding the drug Jadelle which we Canadians are paying for. A drug that isn't good enough for Canadians, but apparently just fine for Tanzania.
I'm looking forward to hearing Mr. Rochon's response.
September 26, 2013

Paul Rochon
Deputy Minister of International Development
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
200 Promenade du Portage
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0G4

Fax: 819-953-3352

Dear Mr. Rochon,

The accompanying report provides evidence that Canadian foreign affairs bureaucrats have approved the use of Canadian taxpayer dollars to the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) for a project that administered the sterilization drug Jadelle (Norplant-2) to Tanzanian women. Jadelle (Norplant-2) was developed by the Population Council.

Norplant-2 is not available in Canada. It is also not marketed in the United States, where Pfizer spent millions of dollars to settle a lawsuit with thousands of women over alleged harm caused by the contraceptive implant.

Canadian foreign affairs officials have funded this drug to be distributed to Third World women, when it is viewed as harmful to North American women, and therefore not marketed in Canada or the US.

Besides the drug’s threat to women’s health, it is also highly unlikely that women in Tanzania were given adequate information about the drug to provide truly informed consent for the implant.

If the drug companies can't make Jadelle available in Canada and America, due to negative health repercussions for women here, why the double standard? Why is it good enough for women in Third World countries, especially when this is contrary to the goals and aims of our government’s maternal health commitment?

Our government made a strong commitment in 2010 to prioritize foreign aid funding to projects that contribute to maternal, newborn and child health. The information about sterilizing Tanzanian women with this troubling drug is found in an annual progress report on a 2013 project, and was uncovered by Canadian researcher Pat Maloney.

This report would indicate, then, that these foreign affairs bureaucrats are pursuing an agenda at odds with the Canadian public and with our government’s stated priorities. They are failing in the due diligence we expect from them when allocating Canadian funds to foreign aid projects.

There needs to be greater oversight of these foreign affairs employees, and their allocation of taxpayer dollars, to ensure that all their activities are consistent with our government’s priorities before we allocate further funding to them.

I am sending a copy of this letter to the Foreign Affairs Minister, and although it did not happen under his watch, I know he'll be rightly upset at this blatant undermining and sabotage of our Government's good international initiatives to improve maternal and child health in developing countries.
Yours sincerely,
Maurice Vellacott, MP

Cc. Hon. John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Exposing "Exposing Crisis Pregnancy Centres in BC"

The two Crisis Pregnancy Centres in BC recently lost their defamation case against Joyce Arthur for her report "Exposing Crisis Pregnancy Centres in BC."

Their press release states:

"As stated in his legal argument to the court at paragraph 18 "The defendants' position in this application is that as a matter of law the impugned passages in the report are not capable of being found to refer to the plaintiffs, and in any event, as a matter of fact the report would not lead a reasonable person who knows the plaintiffs to conclude that the passages refer to them"; and at paragraph 20 "... no reasonable reader of the report would feel able to draw any conclusions about the practices at the CPCs operated by the plaintiffs" (i.e. the Vancouver and Burnaby centres).

The Judge who heard legal argument on this matter in early April ultimately accepted those submissions, stating at paragraph 92 of her reasons for judgement, released on August 26th, that "As it is never made clear in the Report what 'many or most' entails with regard to CPCs across North America, it is difficult to say the 'deceptive' tactics reflect personally on the plaintiffs. The impugned statements do not have any specificity; the Report describes the tactics in broad generalizations." And then her conclusion at paragraph 98, that "I conclude the alleged defamatory statements are not of and concerning the plaintiffs."

The Crisis Pregnancy Centres are obviously confused by this ruling, since as they so aptly point out, the report:
  • Is titled Exposing Crisis Pregnancy Centres in British Columbia, and which title appears typed at the top on all 65-pages of the report, including the pages where the Allegations appear.
  • Describes its purpose as: "We wanted to find out what these centres were doing and saying to women in BC, and whether they were engaging in deceptive or harmful practices."
  • Lists the Vancouver and Burnaby Centres in an appendix to the report along with, and only, CPCs in BC.
  • Focuses most of the content (main text and appendixes) specifically on CPCs in BC (including our own CPCs).
But there is another reason that this ruling is troublesome. It is because of the very nature of the research itself, that was conducted for the report.

By her own admission, Arthur's research included using a volunteer to infiltrate CPCs in BC, by sending out surveys, by phone calls and by visits. All these activities were done of CPCs in BC, not to CPCs in anywhere else in North America. How could Arthur know that those activities and strategies are common to "many or most" CPCs throughout North America like she states? Other than a couple of footnotes, all of Arthur's hands on research was done in BC. Not anywhere else.

In fact, for Arthur's statement that "many or most” of 4000 US centres behave badly, she only has a few isolated footnotes about what a few of them do. How on earth can she generalize from a few bad apples to the majority? Almost certainly pure speculation.

The question that arises about this research is this. What are vague allegations about US centres, doing in a report about BC centres, other than to imply that what Arthur alleges is true of the US centres, is also true of the BC centres?

That is the implication readers will take from her report – that BC Centres do these bad things too. Is this what Arthur intended all along?

(See below for a list of my previous writings on this subject. They discuss some other interesting fun facts about the report. Like how Arthur's Pro Choice Action Network received $27,400 in a government grant from Status of Women Canada to write the report. And how PRO-CAN never publicly acknowledged that grant like they were supposed to.)

(This was first published on LifeNews in January 2010)
Supporting Women in Canada Means Educating That Abortion Hurts Women

Apr 05, 2010
Status of Women Canada pays extreme group to discredit CPCs

April 16, 2010
"pregnancy support groups" vs "crisis pregnancy centres"

April 27, 2010
Mr. Harper must support the abortion debate

June 25, 2012
Don't let the numbers fool you

(First published in LifeCanada's Journal)
Jan 06, 2013
Joyce Arthur's Pro-Can grant: an investigation, Part I
Mar 09, 2013
Joyce Arthur's Pro-Can grant: an investigation, Part II