Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of July 21, 2008
Order of Canada 'hijacked' by leftists – Kenney
Morgentaler honoured, Byfield rejected, Calgary MP says
By DEBORAH GYAPONG
Levant said the Conservatives are "extremely susceptible to bureaucratic coups on this issue, because the political schemers on that committee know that Harper can't and won't fight back on this."
"It would paint him as 'scary' and having a 'secret agenda,'" he said.
But the Harper government may not be able to wash its hands of the abortion issue. REAL Women of Canada national vice president Gwendolyn Landolt sees the Harper government embroiled in it "whether they like it or not."
Harper knows his conservative base is pro-life, she said, but he is also aware of polls that show him as less popular with women than with men. Landolt agreed the Conservatives "don't want to be looked at as anti-women."
Like Landolt, Ben-Ami said the Conservatives want to "stay as far away from this issue as they possibly can." But he rejected the idea that wading in might be risky politically.
Ben-Ami, an Orthodox Jew who has been active in Conservative politics, said many pro-life party members gave the Tories a pass on the pro-life issue, allowing abortion to be excluded from the platform.
But abortion is a fundamental issue to these voters, he said. "You risk the emergence of smaller political parties that are prepared to champion the cause."
Ben-Ami described the award as a symptom of a malaise that involves the cheapening of human life.
"The political schemers on that committee know that Harper can't and won't fight back on this."
- Ezra Levant
"It's a measure of how morally confused we've become, how badly degrade our thinking of what is a human being and what are rights that are intrinsic to them because they are human."
Landolt pointed out that ethicist Margaret Somerville had been nominated for the Order of Canada, but the advisory committee rejected her as being "too controversial."
Somerville, who took a stand against same-sex marriage, is widely known for her work in ethics on a range of subjects. Landolt noted the minister who performed the first gay marriage in Canada has already been appointed to the Order.
The Order of Canada has been awarded mostly to left-wing activists, except for those awards recognizing local service, she said.
Kenney said he has nominated Ted Byfield, who founded two schools, founded Alberta Report and other magazines as well as publishing a history of Alberta and books on the history of Christianity, but he has never received the Order.
"If the rule is they are not going to appoint people that are contentious, fine, then apply that consistently, he said.
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