A pro-life flag was raised yesterday morning in Canada’s national capital, Ottawa. This marks a first time in Canada’s history in which this flag waived over its City Hall.
Yesterday marked the 20th anniversary of the National March for Life wherein thousands of pro-lifers rally at the Parliament demanding legal protection of unborn children targeted for abortion.
Upon the flag were the words, “National March for Life Ottawa” in red and white lettering. Thirty pro-lifers attended the event which took place at 5:45- just after sunrise and was supposed to fly until sundown.
Major Jim Watson proclaimed that yesterday was the “National March for Life Day in the Capital.” Today was the day where thousands of people from across North American gather at Parliament Hill to “bring awareness for the need for life-affirming solutions.”
The City of Ottawa is known for flying various flags over City Hall as an attempt to help build community.
“Flag-raising ceremonies enhance public awareness of activities such as national days, multicultural events, and fundraising drives,” the City states on its website. “They encourage support from members of the public, and benefit and enrich the community.”
Jack Fonseca of Campaign Life Coalition, in an interview with LifeSiteNews says that he hope the event will be the beginning of an annual tradition that will occur in cities nationally.
“We thank the Mayor and Councillors of Ottawa for respecting free speech, and allowing the pro-life flag to fly over City Hall. May it continue next year and every year after,” he said.
“The sanctity of life is flying high today,” he added.
The March for Life commemorates what is called, by pro-lifers, as a day of infamy. On this day, Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau passed the Omnibus bill legalizing abortion.
The bill has resulted in 100,000 infants aborted annually (3.5 million since 1969).
The March for Life’s theme for this year is: “Life, We Stand On Guard For Thee”.
Unfortunate Turn of Events
While all looked great, things went drastically wrong. Due to a backlash from pro-choice advocates and city counsellors, the mayor decided to take down the flag. Pro-choice advocates called the flag, “anti-abortion”, citing that a woman should have a right to choose. Watson ended up backing down due to fierce social media backlash.
Watson did admit later on his twitter account that his personal belief is that a woman has a right to choose.
Now Watson is asking the City Clerk’s office for a completed review of Proclamations and the city’s flag raising policy.
Francis Barret worked with the City to have the flag flown. He was writing a thank you letter to Major Watson when he heard that the flag had been removed. He was disappointed, and called the decision, “ridiculous”.
In an interview with LifeSiteNews, Barret commented, “I’m being treated like a nobody. I have my rights the same as the next person. We did everything legitimately, it was signed by the mayor”
“This has got to stop. This is really discrimination. … Could you imagine if they took the gay flag down? And they won’t let us fly that flag for one day, when they gave us permission?”
That morning, seven city councillors created a statement demanding for the flag’s immediate removal. They were outraged that a flag was raised that represents personal conviction restricting a woman’s right to safe and legal abortion. They expressed the strong dislike that it was waiving on City Hall’s grounds for the first time.
Meanwhile, the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada made a statement on Facebook with LifeSiteNews’s video coverage of the event saying, “This is totally unacceptable. Could you please Tweet your disgust that the City would officially endorse an anti-human rights cause.”