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National Campus Life Network > Blog > Current Events

Trudeau or Nothing

Trudeau or Nothing

Canada Summer Jobs Program attestation hurts students

Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Government continue to defend the Canada Summer Jobs Program attestation.

By: Kevin Geenen

If you have been paying attention to the news throughout the past month, then you will know that Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada added a discriminatory attestation to the Canada Summer Jobs Program.

The attestation is a values test that is discriminatory to those who hold a pro-life position or those who simply wish to remain silent on the issue of abortion. Employers are caught up in the middle of this dilemma. They risk signing the attestation while denouncing their values – or not receiving necessary funds at all. Many students worry that they will be unemployed during the summer months.

Viewpoint discrimination is not new. It has been happening at universities across Canada in attempts to silence pro-life students. For example, the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa passed a motion last November stating that: “No resources, space, recognition, or funding will be allocated to enhance groups/individuals with the primary/sole purpose of pro-life activities.”

Ruth Shaw, Executive Director of National Campus Life Network.

Ruth Shaw, Executive Director of National Campus Life Network, says that it all started in 2006 when “there was a massive turn against pro-life clubs” in the policies and actions of various university administrations.

“This censorship became normalized, paving the way for others,” she says. The federal government is following suit by censoring summer jobs.

On a positive note, the deadline for applications to the Canada Summer Jobs program was extended to Feb. 9, meaning that there is still time for people to lobby the government about the discriminatory clause. Lobbying can come in the form of signing a petition, sending an email, or sharing your story.

Perhaps the best option for employers is to check off the attestation, but cross out the parts that infringe on the organization’s beliefs. Another option that groups are using is adding a footnote or additional sheet clarifying where they stand on both abortion and gender expression.

The attestation itself states that “Canada Summer Jobs applicants will be required to attest that both the job and the organization’s core mandate respect individual human rights in Canada, including the values underlying the Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as other rights. These include reproductive rights…” The attestation then defines reproductive rights as “the right to access safe and legal abortions.”

Essentially, the Government is saying that, if groups want to receive funding, they must support abortion.

Many students worry that they will be unemployed during the summer months.

The Government published “Supplementary Information” on its website on Jan. 23, clarifying the wording of the attestation. The “Supplementary Information” says that an organization’s values and beliefs alone do not constitute ineligibility.

However, values manifest themselves through words and actions (for if they did not, then we would question whether one holds their beliefs with any importance). That is why no pro-life organization can sign the attestation.

After the “Supplementary Information” was added, nearly 90 religious organizations, including the Canadian Council of Imams, Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, Canadian Council of Catholic Bishops, and the Jewish Shaarei Shomayim Congregation sent a joint letter to the Liberal Party calling on them to “amend the guidelines and application process.”

Prime Minister Trudeau defended the attestation by falsely referring to abortion access as a “Charter right.”

“An organization that has as its stated goal to remove rights from Canadians, to remove the right that women have fought for to determine what happens to their own bodies, is not in line with where the Charter is or where the government of Canada is,” said Trudeau.

Let’s be clear: there is no Charter right to abortion, but there are rights to freedom of conscience, religion, belief, opinion, thought, and expression.

If we want to live in a democratic society, then this type of discrimination must be eradicated. Although, the media attention is nice. 

NCLN 2018

Blog post author Kevin Geenen is a political science and communications student at the University of Ottawa. Email: kvngeenen@gmail.com.

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UC Berkeley students protested to stop an event occuring the MLK JR building- the irony is palpable.

By Ruth Shaw, Communications Director

Last night, Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos attempted to speak at the University of California, Berkeley campus. The event was protested by left-wing student activists who disagree with Yiannopoulous’s ideas and his support for President Trump.

Details of the riot and student-led violence can be read here and watched here.

Most of the violence that occurred are not unique, unfortunately. Some students who fundamentally believe that certain ideas should no longer be shared, even in a university setting, will do whatever it takes to make sure their ideas go unchallenged and remain the status quo. It is best, perhaps, that we no longer pretend it is any different, because they are no longer pretending either. Their new motto clearly states as such: By any means necessary.

There are two things that are worth noting about the riot at UC Berkeley.

Firstly, BAMN. The new movement whose goal is to win by any means necessary

In this article, a student member of BAMN states: “We are willing to resist by any means necessary.” Further, protestor Lana Wachowski is quoted in the article defending the use of extreme tactics to deny Yiannopolous a platform. “The moral imperative is to win,” Wachowski says, “There’s something to be said for fighting according to a code, but if you lose, people are going to die.”

Lastly, Wachowski says: “It’s absolutely acceptable to use violence. They are 100% certain to use it against us.”

I didn’t even know winning could be a moral imperative. Saving lives, yes. Changing the culture, yes. Stopping violence or bullying against others, yes. Giving someone shelter, yes. I don’t know about you guys, but I have never heard someone say this so overtly. Violence to win. Violence by any means necessary. Winning by any means necessary.

It is a bit unnerving to think you live in a world where people want to become experts in violence. As Gregg Cunningham, a leading anti-abortion activist in the United States once said, “there is blood shed to heal, and there is blood shed to kill.” These are the same young people who advocate for the killing of innocent children; it should not surprise us that they have now taken their intrinsically violent worldview applied them to born people. I wish we could rejoice that at least they are being consistent.

Another interesting point worthy of note is Wachowski’s comment that if she doesn’t use violence, certainly violence will be used against her.

I would challenge her and ask: where is the proof of this?

This past week in the United States, two stunningly massive marches were held: The Women’s March on Washington and the 2017 March for Life in Washington. A quick YouTube search gives evidence to many, many acts of violence by left-wing activists at the Women’s March, including this one of someone setting a girl’s hair on fire. Not to mention Madonna’s speech in which she talked about bombing the White House…

In stark contrast, at the March for Life there were no such instances of violence or encouragement of violent behavior. Certainly, there have been some activists in the past who have resorted to violence in order to stop abortions from happening. These acts of violence are wrong, condemned by pro-life leaders, and have not happened in a very long time. So again, I would ask Lana: where is her proof?

Secondly, the irony of BAMN protests..
The students at Berkeley shut down, rioted against, and harmed individuals in order to shut down a conversation that they didn’t want to hear. All of these things occured outside Berkeley’s Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union building. Can you say ironic?

This riot was the antithesis of the kind of protesting that MLK stood for. BAMN continuously refers to MLK JR in their promotional material, as though they are following in his footsteps. This is indicative of a generation that does not know their history. It is a fact that MLK JR stood for the exact opposite of what this radical group stands for.Why? Because he understood that using violence in order to be heard or to create change ultimately only produces more violence and isolation in a culture that desperately needs healing, unity and love.

Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love… Our aim must never be to defeat or humiliate the white man, but to win his friendship and understanding.
– Martin Luther King Jr. [source link]

Win his friendship and understanding. Powerful. THAT is real winning. THAT is real activism.

Unfortunately, as BAMN has proved they are not interested in winning friendships or understanding. They are only interested in one thing: winning power. This attitude will only lead to more violence and solidifies to youth around the world that violence paves the way to change. Indeed it does change something, but nothing good. Nothing beautiful. Nothing that adds value to one’s life. We need to be the kind of activists that seek to heal the culture, not tear it apart. We have to always remember that PEOPLE are affected, PEOPLE are torn apart, PEOPLE die, PEOPLE are shamed, PEOPLE are destroyed.

Student activists on campuses have a responsibility to be leaders in good revolution. You are setting an example for your peers, for high school students who follow you, and those who are looking to you to set standards and goals for future generations to follow you. If you do not show respect for people you disagree with, you have little hope of changing anything, except to harden the person you are talking to against your belief system. Student activists have a responsibility to engage constructively with differing ideologies and constructs. You are actively changing the world for better or for worse every time you engage with ideas different than your own. OWN that.

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Effective Time Management = Effective Activism. #Truth

Effective Time Management = Effective Activism. #Truth

Everything that we do as anti-abortion activists has to be ordered towards one thing: saving babies.
However, if there is one thing I’ve learned as a former campus prezzy it’s that if you don’t manage time your time well you won’t be able to affect your campus, you won’t be able to save babies and you definitely won’t be able to function as an activist human being…

You have a lot going on. You have papers to write, classes to attend, eating to do, Facebook to browse, SnapChat to peak at. You’re busy, we get it. So act like it. Tell your time where its supposed to go. It is well within your control to do so.

You won’t function well as a human being (you are still human…)

#TruthTalk, you guys. When I was a campus pro-life prezzy, I was pretty terrible at managing my time. Often, on the days that we did activism I was so busy that I wouldn’t eat for most of the day. I would end up eating breakfast at like… 4 pm. Shockingly, not eating for a whole day is bad for you.

Our activism would often be planned somewhat last minute (I mean sometimes you have to do that when.. certain kinds of meetings or events take place that #ShallNotBeNamed that you suddenly found out about and must gather the troops to be at…) . Sometimes, we would just decide the night before or the week before what we were doing.

Looking back, I see how this greatly limited the growth of our team and how this exemplified poor leadership on my part. I was not respectful of my team’s time and as a result we had few members who were invested in our club , and it actually exponentially increased my workload causing me to be more stressed more often.

This led me to burn out for a period of time in my 3rd year. I needed to take off a whole semester from regular campus activism because, to be brutally honest, I was too disorganized to even manage my time!

I thought I didn’t need to manage my time in order to have effective activism. I thought that the activism was effective enough and if someone was bought in enough they would show up no matter what.

The reality is that a very small percentage of people operate like that. If you do as a campus leader, it’s because you are bought in – and I get it. . For most people, activism is something they have to learn how to do.  And in order to learn how to do it, they need to be given strong, organized and respectful opportunities to do it.

If you burn out, you won’t be able to do activism very well for very long. It’s that simple.

If you choose the ‘convenience’ of being able to do activism whenever you would like at the expense of a strong team, you are creating barriers between your campus and hearing the pro-life message effectively, and regularly… And that is on you. You won’t be able to affect your campus as well as you would like…

If you don’t choose to manage your time, your activism will be sporadic. Sporadic activism usually means disorganized activism, miscommunication, and more stress. And let’s be honest, doing activism at the last minute on a regular basis usually results in just doing activism less often.

You won’t save as many lives…

Why? Because you just won’t be around as much.

Let’s break it down:

if you aren’t there sharing the pro-life perspective, your peers will not be challenged.
if you aren’t there, making yourself available, your peers will not be challenged.
if you aren’t there, with a sharp mind and open heart, your peers will not be challenged.
And they will be more likely to choose abortion. #TruthBomb

Recently, at Simon Fraser University (Burnaby), the pro-life students were doing the QA (Question Abortion) Project. They talked to a student for a while about abortion. Before he left he said, “ Thanks for being here. I’m on my way actually talk to my friend and her boyfriend about their new pregnancy. Now I know what I’m going to say.”

Wow. powerful.

Here are some tools to help you become a better, more timely and more effective activist and human being:

TeamViewer for online presentations: https://www.teamviewer.com/en/use-cases/meetings-and-collaboration/

Boomerang #Trickster #ThereAreTwo
For capturing activism into a GIF: http://simplymeasured.com/blog/why-boomerang-what-this-app-really-means-for-social-marketers/#sm.00000lqc1p6z5dxluj92azwx94vr8
For managing club emails: http://www.boomerangapp.com/

Doodle:
For scheduling activism efficiently: http://doodle.com/

Google Calendar:
For making sure you all know when they activism or meeting is happening: http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/google-in-the-enterprise/six-tips-to-manage-your-google-calendar-more-efficiently/

Google Hangouts
To communicate with your team wherever they are! http://www.wikihow.com/Use-Google%2B-Hangouts
(SIDENOTE: if you have a few minutes, also type “How to use google hangouts” into Youtube for some excellent entertainment)

Google Forms
To create important surveys for activism (but also pizza preferences) https://www.google.ca/forms/about/

Ultimately even using these tools requires you to make the commitment to manage your time better for your sake, the team’s sake and of course, on behalf of the babies.

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University of Toronto Mississauga Student Union sued over censoring free expression on campus

After fighting since August to have their club status renewed for this school year, students from University of Toronto Students for Life (UTMSFL), with the representation of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, have filed a lawsuit against their student union. National Campus Life Network has been supporting UTMSFL throughout the process as they have been combating the immature and discriminatory behaviour of their student union. Our staff have been impressed and encouraged by their perseverance in this case, and continued dedication to sharing the pro-life message on their campus.

NCLN Staff with UTM Students for Life
NCLN Staff with UTM Students for Life

From the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms:

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union sued over censoring free expression on campus

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms has filed a court action against the University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union (UTMSU), to defend the free expression rights of a pro-life student group that is being denied registered club status by UMTSU.UTMSU has refused to renew the club status of Students for Life for the 2015-16 year, effectively barring the student group from using the student centre and accessing student union resources.  As a result, in September of 2015, Students for Life could not join other campus clubs in setting up a table during clubs’ week—a key event for recruiting new members.

UTMSU had granted club status for Students for Life in the 2014-15 school year, but changed its mind specifically because of Students for Life’s “stance on Abortion”.  UTMSU’s mission statement includes a commitment “[t]o safeguard the individual rights of the student, regardless of race, creed, sex … or personal or political beliefs,” and lists “strength in diverse voices and opinions” as a “fundamental belief.”

“It appears that UTMSU sees diverse opinions as good for most topics, but not abortion,” stated Calgary lawyer John Carpay, president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms.

After receiving a legal warning letter from the Justice Centre in October 2015, Russ Adade, UTMSU Vice-President, changed his previous rationale for denying club status to Students for Life, namely, the club’s stance on abortion.  Adade instead told Students for Life that the reason their club was denied status was “violations and discrepancies we found within your constitution in relation to the clubs handbook and UTMSU operational policy as it pertains to clubs.”

Students for Life immediately made the required changes to their constitution, but UTMSU has continued to deny club status, necessitating court action.

Students for Life has filed a court action against UTMSU for violating its own rules, for acting with bias and bad faith, for breaching the rules of natural justice and procedural fairness, and for failing to respect students’ fundamental freedoms of expression and association.

“The actions of UTMSU have demonstrated their disregard for their own rules, and for students’ freedom of expression and freedom of association,” stated Diane Zettel, President of Students for Life.

For more information, please contact:

Diane Zettel, President, UTM Students for Life
647-224-9339 or diane.zettel@mail.utoronto.ca

John Carpay, President, Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms
403-619-8014 or jcarpay@jccf.ca

 Visit the UTMSFL website
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Ontario Campus Tour!

Our Executive Director and Central Campus Coordinator, Anastasia & Clarissa, are in the midst of an exciting month of visiting pro-life campus clubs as well as right to life groups across Ontario! Below is their schedule for the remaining two weeks. Contact them if you’re interested in joining them in activism on campus or for their presentations!

Processed with Moldiv
Visits with UTM, Durham, York and McMaster!

15 – Walkerton Right to Life, Hanover: Reaching Campuses, Changing Canada: Mobilizing a Generation of Pro-Life Leaders who are Transforming our Culture. 7:30 p.m. Hanover Public Library (451 10th Ave).
18 – University of Windsor
21 – Cornwall: St. Joseph’s High School presentation
22 – University of Ottawa
25 – Brock University/Niagara College
25 – St. Catharines Right to Life Pro-Life Coffee House. Reaching Campuses, Changing Canada: Mobilizing a Generation of Pro-Life Leaders who are Transforming our Culture. 7:00 p.m. at The Heritage Christian Bookstore Cafe (400 Scott Street, Grantham Plaza, St. Catharines)

Hope to see you there!

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ANTI-ABORTION GROUP AT RYERSON FILES LAWSUIT OVER ILLEGAL DISCRIMINATION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ANTI-ABORTION GROUP AT RYERSON FILES LAWSUIT OVER ILLEGAL DISCRIMINATION

Support-Ryerson-banner-1024x379

October 14, 2015. TORONTO, ON— Pro-life students at Ryerson University have filed a lawsuit against the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) over denying their club, Students for Life at Ryerson (SFLR), status.

On February 23rd, 2015, the RSU Board of Directors unanimously voted that SFLR would not be allowed to form a pro-life club. This vote marked the last step in an appeal process that began in the fall semester after SFLR was rejected by the Student Groups Committee on the basis that the RSU, “opposes…groups, meetings, or events that promote misogynist views towards woman [sic] and ideologies that promote gender inequity, challenges women’s right [sic] to bodily autonomy, or justifies [sic] sexual assault”.

“Our club stands for human rights for all human beings, including those at the earliest stages of life. We also want to support pregnant students on campus who want alternatives to abortion,” states Carter Grant, a third year business major and Vice-President of SFLR.

Pro-life students at Ryerson were first denied club status back in 2003.  Now students are taking the decision to court to assert their right to be treated fairly by their student union, and to not be discriminated against on the basis of their pro-life viewpoint.

What is happening at Ryerson is not an isolated event.  Pro-life students across the country have faced similar censorship at other institutions, including at the University of Victoria, University of Calgary, York University, Carleton University, Trent University, Lakehead University, and Capilano College.

As a strong advocate for freedom of expression, the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (CCBR) strongly opposes these acts of discrimination and is assisting the students with this case.  CCBR’s new legal department, CCBR Legal, has retained experienced constitutional lawyer Carol Crosson to defend the students.  Ms. Crosson says that, “pro-life students have been denied rights on campuses long enough.  This is the time to end this battle and enshrine students’ rights on campus.”

Through CCBR Legal, CCBR provides legal representation for those in the pro-life movement.  As history as shown, legal representation is an integral part of successful social movements.  The law protects the right for pro-life individuals to share their message on the same basis as others and CCBR Legal is determined to protect this right.

For more information, please contact Carol Crosson at 403-796-8110 or ccrosson@crossonlaw.ca, and Carter Grant at 647-213-4242 or carter.grant@ryerson.ca.

 

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March for Life Victoria Recap!

Written by Ashley Bulthuis, NCLN Summer Intern

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Last week, we celebrated the March for Life in Victoria, the very heart of parliament in British Columbia. Around 2,000 participants assembled to raise awareness on the polarized issues of abortion and euthanasia.

The day started with prayer, offered both at the Reformed prayer service and masses in St. Andrew’s and in St. Patrick’s Churches.

The March began at 1:45 in Centennial Square. From there, the crowds departed, hitting the pavement brandishing “We Choose Life” signs. Participants joined together specifically to oppose the Supreme Court’s decision to nullify the law against doctor-assisted suicide, with the theme for this year’s March being “Every Life’s Worth Living.”

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The swarming sea of people streamed through the city streets, coming to a standstill at the B.C. Legislative Buildings for the rally at 2:15. Music from a live band flooded the air as participants rested on the grassy lawn, soaking in the glowing, midday sun.

The keynote speakers included Bishop Gary Gordon, PJ & Pamela Lewis, Emily Mraz, Dr. Will Johnston and Courtney DeGeest. The Master of Ceremonies was Pavel Reid. Bishop Gary Gordon, from the Diocese of Victoria, opened the rally, expressing how thankful he was for those who participated in the March, and emphasizing the importance of bringing the pro-life message back home to our communities.

Courtney deGeest is a full-time mom to 3 boys, and passionately advocates for children with special needs. She gave a personal account relaying the challenges and joys of raising her son Asher, who has had serious health and developmental complications from birth. PJ and Pamela Lewis, from Mission, BC, similarly affirmed the value of all people regardless of their abilities or disabilities. They shared their experience of having a daughter who was born with a rare genetic disorder, passing away just after birth, and spoke of their joint journey of healing and finding peace amidst the incredible loss.

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Emily Mraz, president of the pro-life club at Simon Fraser University, recounted an experience she had speaking to a woman who had had an abortion. Through her story, Emily conveyed the need for us to compassionately reach and touch a person’s heart before we can change their mind.

Dr. Will Johnston, chair of the Euthanasia Coalition of British Columbia, concluded the rally, stating that “Supplying real healthcare means supplying therapy. Therapy improves function, therapy does not intentionally create a corpse.” In addition to declaring his philosophy of healthcare, Dr. Johnston emphasized that our government needs more than a year to make such a massive decision regarding assisted suicide. He stressed the need for us to contact our politicians to encourage them to take more time to discuss this decision that will impact all Canadians.

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The rally was followed by the Pro-Life Gala. This was hosted by National Campus Life Network and the pro-life club at the University of Victoria, Youth Protecting Youth. The guest speaker was Bishop Gordon; he shared his experience of volunteering at a pro-life table while he was studying. He described how challenging it can be to talk about the issue with one’s peers, and how much courage it takes to reach out and initiate these discussions. Bishop Gordon expressed his gratitude towards the pro-life students for their hard work, and applauded them fors promoting the cause of the unborn.

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The need for pro-life activism on campus was affirmed by Anastasia Pearse, Western Campus Coordinator for NCLN. She spoke about NCLN’s mission, which is to train and support pro-life students to effectively reach out to their campuses. The finances raised during the Gala supported NCLN’s outreach as well as the YPY bursary for single student mothers.

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Overall, it was a bittersweet day. The bitter taste of injustice is still in our hearts, yet the sweetness of hope remains as aftertaste, thanks to the compelling words of all the speakers and the courageous souls of those who came out to the March.

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PRESS RELEASE: Ryerson Student Union Continues to Bar Pro-Life Student Club without Explanation

For immediate release.

PRESS RELEASE: Ryerson Student Union Continues to Bar Pro-Life Student Club without Explanation

Toronto, ON (February 24 2015) – On February 23rd, the Ryerson Student Union (RSU) Board of Directors unanimously voted that a group of pro-life students would not be allowed to form a pro-life club.

This vote marked the last step in an appeal process that began in the fall semester after Students for Life at Ryerson was rejected by the Student Groups Committee on the basis that the RSU, “opposes…groups, meetings, or events that promote misogynist views towards woman [sic] and ideologies that promote gender inequity, challenges women’s right [sic] to bodily autonomy, or justifies [sic] sexual assault”.

“Our club stands for human rights for all human beings, including those at the earliest stages of life. We also want to support pregnant students on campus who want alternatives to abortion,” states Carter Grant, a second year business major and Vice President of Students for Life. “If the student union is going to accuse students of serious things like misogyny, they should be prepared to explain the basis for that. We are still waiting for that explanation.”

The union operates a Centre for Women and Trans People that identifies as pro-choice but the Board of Directors were not willing to allow a student group the opportunity to share another side of the issue.

“Ryerson University talks a good game on the right to freedom of expression, but when it comes down to it, its student union prefers to punish those who do not espouse RSU’s particular viewpoints on social issues,” states Carol Crosson, legal counsel for Students for Life. “Ryerson policies affirm the right to freedom of expression, but it seems that RSU has no desire to adhere to University policies.”

“If the student union can advocate their pro-choice position on campus, why can’t pro-life students present theirs?” asks Rebecca Richmond, Executive Director of National Campus Life Network, which supports pro-life students across Canada. “The RSU is marginalizing and bullying students – and not even explaining why.”

For more information, please visit sflryerson.ncln.ca

For additional comment, please contact:

Carter Grant, Vice President of Students for Life at Ryerson, ryersonstudentsforlife@gmail.com, 647 213 4242.

Carol Crosson, Crosson Constitutional Law, ccrosson@crossonlaw.ca, 403 796 8110.

Rebecca Richmond, Executive Director of National Campus Life Network, director@ncln.ca, 416 388 0461

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