About 200 people attended our eighth Focus On Life Benefit Dinner. Our keynote speaker this year was Alex Schadenberg, the Executive Director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition. So the subject of his presentation was - euthanasia. A subject that is harsh, yet unfortunately - current; especially in light of the recently introduced private member bill to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada.
Alex gave us a thorough review of the bill, exposing all the radical agenda which the euthanasia supporters (along with the mainstream media) try to hide or sugarcoat. The fact that bill C-384 fails to define terminal illness and the clause, according to which an individual is deemed competent to consent if he "appears to be lucid" - those are just few of many examples.
But could our MPs actually support such a radical bill? In fact - many of those who support assisted suicide, intend to do just that. They look forward for the committee to rewrite the bill, to take out some of the controversial stuff, while hiding the rest (including assisted suicide) behind fancy words and ambiguous legal rhetoric, so that the version presented for the third reading (and later - to the Senate) doesn't look that controversial.
For those who support the bill in its existing form, it's a foot in the door for euthanasia. For us the goal is clear: bill C-384 must be defeated at the second reading. Each guest at our dinner was advised to send a postcard to his MP, urging him to vote against the bill.
Then at the end, Peter Ryan, the Executive Director of the New Brunswick Right to Life, gave us a brief presentation of what is being done to advance the culture of life here in New Brunswick. TV ads, (about 100 of them,) informing people about the life in the womb, about the physical and mental consequences of abortion and about counseling services available to pregnant women - that's just one of our achievements.
We've had a record turnout at the March for life (over 400 people came from all across New Brunswick). We've organized our local Red Envelope campaign, sending several hundreds of red envelopes to the New Brunswick Health Minister, Mr. Michael Murphy. This year Fredericton joins hundreds of other cities in North America for the 40 days for life vigil. And, we are hiring and training a regional coordinator for the National Campus Life Network, to advance the pro-life cause on university campuses. So there's a lot that has been done - but there's still a lot more to do.
Meanwhile - we had a great meal and enjoyed some lovely Acadian songs and dance performance by the Fiddling Landrys...