Keane observations about life, politics and sports.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Order of Canada and a Question of Diminished Honor

Some Canadians are justifiably upset by the current administrations decision to award the nation's highest civilian honor, the Order of Canada, to Henry Morgentaler. Who is Henry Morgentaler? He is the "father" of the Canadian abortion industry. He has been a controversial figure since 1967 when he testified before a government committee saying that women should have the right to abortion. In 1970, Morgentaler was arrested in Montreal for performing illegal abortions. And now Canadian leadership wants to honor this criminal.

Usually when we hear of an award like this going to a poor choice we hear some grumbling and then the issue is forgotten. However, in Canada the feelings about this character and his legacy are so strong that past recipients are returning their medals and resigning from the Society of the Order of Canada. Here is one example:
"If Dr. Morgentaler becomes a member, the Order of Canada for me has decreased in value," Gilbert Finn, 87, said yesterday from his home in Dieppe, N.B. "I cannot be a member of the Order of Canada with a man of such a reputation."

An Acadian businessman and former rector at the University of Moncton, as well as New Brunswick's lieutenant-governor from 1987 to 1994, Mr. Finn was named a member of the Order of Canada in 1974 and an officer in 1979.

"I'm waiting to know whether he is admitted to the order or not," Mr. Finn said. "If he is to get it officially, the same day, I'm planning to tell the Governor-General that I wish to get out of the order myself."

Michael Coren of the Toronto Sun has a good take on this award decision in an article titled "Abort this Award."

Bottom line: A society becomes that which it honors. If a society honors evil . . .

A sad postscript to this is Morgentaler grew up in Poland, lost family members to the holocaust and barely survived himself and then he chose to use his second lease on life to contribute to another holocaust.

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