I had the privilege of meeting Kathleen Dunn, our new staff member, at the Fredericton March for Life on May 17th. This talented young woman motivated the crowd with music and later a speech that encouraged young people to speak up about abortion to protect both women and the unborn. Kathleen will be working as an assistant to the Western Campus Coordinator. We are really looking forward to having her on staff.
By Clarissa Luluquisin
It feels like only yesterday that I was a fourth-year student starting a new school year as President of University of Toronto Students for Life. I attended NCLN’s Annual Symposium in 2009, which gave me the necessary skills and strategies to spread the pro-life message on my campus. NCLN helped me cope with the pressures that came with being President, and continually inspired me to do more for my club. NCLN also helped provide me with opportunities to connect with other pro-life students and the pro-life community at large. Eventually, I came to realize that, “Yes, I can, and will be a voice for life!”
Clarissa, in purple, with students and alumni of the University of Toronto Students for Life.
I am so excited to be working full-time to support the pro-life message on university campuses with NCLN. I look forward to getting to know pro-life student leaders on campuses across Ontario, giving them the voice, hope, and courage that were given to me. The work we will do together is surely a path that will lead to building a culture of life in our country!
Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. This position will be made possible through support raising my salary. If you are interested in helping me reach my support raising goal, please email me or make a donation online at www.ncln.ca/donate!
Last fall, we wrote about ‘the Pridgen Precedent’, or the ruling made by Madam Justice J. Strekaf in Pridgen v. University of Calgary. John Carpay’s recent article gives a good refresher on the case. This ruling was not about pro-life students or even abortion at all, but the ruling would, we wrote, set a positive precedent for our pro-life students. Why? Because the ruling stated that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms DOES, in fact, apply to universities. And this means that the freedom of speech of students is protected on campus.
The University of Calgary appealed the decision but, last week, the Alberta Court of Appeal upheld the ruling.
John Carpay, who is also the lawyer for the University of Calgary’s Campus Pro-Life group, wrote a column in the National Post regarding the decision. He wrote:
If universities were private, they would not be engaging in “government action” so as to invite the Charter’s application. But when the University of Calgary obtains over $600 million from taxpayers each year by claiming to be a forum for free expression for all people and for all views, it forfeits its right to censor speech it dislikes. Holding the U of C to account, as this court ruling does, is good news for students and for taxpayers.
In particular, this precedent will help the students in Ontario and Alberta who have taken Carleton University and the University of Calgary to court in regard to the censorship of pro-life viewpoints. But that is a subject for another column.
This is certainly a victory for not just the Pridgens, but also for students nationwide.
Tomorrow, tens of thousands of pro-lifers from across Canada will march for life, assembling at their provincial and national legislatures in protest of the injustice of abortion. NCLN and its students will be at many of these events.
There were over 15,000 gathered at last year’s National March for Life in Ottawa, and NCLN hopes to see even more at this year’s event. You can find the NCLN group on the right lawn – look for our banner or that of uOttawa Students for Life! After the March there are many other events to be involved in. NCLN is hosting our annual student dinner, which is SOLD OUT! If you didn’t get a ticket this year, don’t worry, there is always next year! Executive Director, Rebecca Richmond is also speaking to hundreds of students at the youth conference on Friday.
If you are unable to attend the National March, there are regional Marches across the country that may be closer to home for you. Visit Campaign Life Coalition to find out where the March for Life is taking place in your community.
NCLN will also have a presence in two other locations. Sara Hall, as the Maritime Campus Coordinator, will be in Halifax to speak at their March, and at the other end of the country, Anastasia, our Western Campus Coordinator, will be speaking to the crowds at the March for Life in Victoria, BC. If you can find us at any of these three locations come say “Hi” – we would love to meet you!