World

Pro-Life Flag At Ottawa City Hall Taken Down After Complaints

REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein - RTSXPL6

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief

Thursday was the annual National March for Life in Canada’s capitol of Ottawa. Francis Barrett, an 89-year-old retired RCMP officer, not only participated in the event, he arranged for a pro-life flag to fly in front of Ottawa’s city hall that day.

But it was taken down by city officials after seven Ottawa councillors complained that it offended them, one actually insisting, “It was very difficult to be in this building today, to have that flag flying outside,” said Catherine McKenney.

“Women have a constitutional right to safe abortions and safe health care that includes abortion, and we cannot in any way as public office holders, as your City Hall, in the public space, give you any other message than that we are here to uphold all bylaws, all laws and your constitutional laws,” said McKenney in a statement.

Just after 1 p.m. the flag was taken down. And nobody even bothered to inform Barrett of that decision.

“In this case the way [the city] did that, instead of phoning me up and saying there’s been an error here, we have to take the flag down, like a bunch of sneaks they just bullied me and bullied the March for Life,” he told CBC News.

Barrett was furious for the city breaking its word and caving to politicians who he says have no respect for the his rights or the rights of the unborn. “I was bulled for a just cause,” he said.

Barrett asked why the city has objection to supporting the LGBT pride festival with a flag raising.

The flag was approved by the city’s clerk and not Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, a former provincial Liberal cabinet minister who is staunchly pro-abortion. Watson says he will be ordering a “review” of how flags are approved for display.

“According to our city solicitor, it meets the criteria of flying the flag. We have to review the policy because I don’t think it’s acceptable to have that flag flying because it’s stating a position that most of our city is opposed to — I’m certainly opposed to,” Watson told CBC.

Even so, the city forced Barrett to jump through a number of hoops to secure approval to fly the flag. The city said the wording on the flag had to match that in the official proclamation and told him that the had to be present when the flag was hoisted at 8:30 a.m. Barrett complied and brought over two dozen supporters with him to watch the flag raising ceremony Thursday morning.

It was the first time a flag had flown to commemorate the March for Life — that Canada’s liberal mainstream media routinely ignore or report as fringe event with low attendance.

Ottawa has actually recognized the event with an official proclamation since 2002.

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