Protesters carry a banner in the annual National March for Life on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, May 9. Police said 10,000-12,000 took part in the event.
(CNS photo/Art Babych) (May 10, 2013)
by Marc Nadeau
On a warm, summer-like day, tens of thousands of Canadians gathered in the capital city of Ottawa for the 16th annual National March for Life on May 9.
Assembling together on the lawn located just in front of their country’s parliament, citizens from across all of Canada’s provinces kicked off the March with a rally that featured several speakers who explained the importance of both this event and the pro-life movement in the nation’s life.
Among those addressing the crowds was Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson who was in attendance representing the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus along with Deputy Supreme Knight Dennis Savoie.
Anderson thanked the participants for their presence and noted the following: “Canada is a country great in natural resources. But Canada’s greatest resource is its children. Today we are proud of our countries and what we have done to promote human rights. Only a culture of life can build a true culture of human rights.”
“Death can never be a solution,” he continued, “whether it is abortion, euthanasia or doctor-assisted suicide. No problem is so great that it requires the death of our children.”
Referring to the hostile ideological environment in which pro-life activists must often operate, Mr. Anderson also mentioned, “Today, the news media cannot ignore you. And one day soon, the government will not be able to ignore you.”
Also present were members of Canada’s Catholic hierarchy: Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto, Archbishops Gérald Cyprien Lacroix of Quebec City, Christian Lépine of Montreal, Bishop Noël Simard of Valleyfield, and Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa. Several senators and members of Parliament also took time away from their parliamentary duties to stand in solidarity with the marchers.
The leadership of the Knights of Columbus in the province of Ontario were also in attendance, along with representatives of the Quebec and Manitoba state jurisdictions.
After the speeches, the upbeat crowd marched for about an hour in the streets located in the vicinity of Parliament, right in downtown Ottawa. Leading the marchers was a color guard of members of the 4th Degree of the Knights of Columbus. Local members of Notre Dame Cathedral Council 13781 were also involved with organizing a luncheon for the dignitaries who took part in the march.
Prior to the main event, Masses were celebrated at the St. Patrick Basilica by Cardinal Collins, at the Gatineau Cathedral by Archbishop Lacroix, and at the Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica by Archbishop Prendergast. In the evening, the Rose Dinner was also conducted, during which guests heard from a number of notable pro-life speakers. The Youth Banquet offered the opportunity for young people to spend an evening with engaging and motivating speakers.
Observers and journalists noted that one of the main features of this year’s march was the presence of an ever-growing number of young people at the event. Young families were also in abundance, pushing strollers along the way. The theme of this year’s march, which was organized by Campaign Life Coalition, was “End Female Gendercide”.