Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Recipients disgrace the Order of Canada

The Interim
By Rory Leishman

Governor General Michaelle Jean outraged many Canadians on June 29, by announcing the appointment of the Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes to the Order of Canada. Hawkes is not only the longstanding pastor of Toronto’s Metropolitan Community Church but also one of the foremost gay activists in Canada and a leading proponent of same-sex marriage.

Several critics of the appointment directed their ire at Prime Minister Stephen Harper. That was a mistake. In making appointments to the Order of Canada, the Governor General must act upon the recommendations of an independent advisory council headed by the Chief Justice of Canada.

In addition to the Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin of the Supreme Court of Canada, the advisory council includes five other ex officio members as well as five temporary members who are nominated by the ex officio members of the Council and appointed by the Governor General for a three-year term. Of the 11 persons currently serving on the Advisory Council, the great majority were chosen directly or indirectly by previous Liberal governments.

The appointment of Hawkes is not the only recent controversy engendered by the Order of Canada. In February, Jean conferred the honour on Michele Landsberg, a radical feminist, left-wing journalist and one of the most notorious proponents of abortion on demand in Canada.

Moreover, Jean and the Advisory Committee considered Landsberg worthy to serve not just as an ordinary Member, but as an Officer of the Order of Canada. Four years earlier, Landsberg’s husband, Stephen Lewis, the former leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party, was appointed to the highest rank of Companion of the Order of Canada.

In the latest notice of appointments, both former Liberal prime minister Jean Chretien and former Reform Party leader Preston Manning have also been designated as Companions of the Order of Canada. In Manning’s case, the distinction is well deserved and most exceptional. Over the past 40 years, few of the social activists among the more than 5,000 Canadians who have been appointed to the Order of Canada have been social conservatives. The overwhelming majority have been liberals and left-wingers.

Notably missing from the ranks of the Order of Canada are such distinguished Canadians as Jim Hughes, leader of the Campaign Life Coalition; Gwen Landolt, National Vice-President of RealWomen of Canada; William Gairdner, author, professor, philanthropist and champion of the natural family; and Dr. L. L. (Barrie) deVeber, who, among a long list of distinctions, is President of The Euthanasia Coalition of Ontario, and Founding President of The deVeber Institute for Bioethics and Social Research.

It’s appropriate that many recipients of the Order of Canada are ordinary Canadians who have been recognized for “a lifetime of distinguished service in or to a particular community, group or field of activity.” Who, though, could better qualify for such a distinction than Joanne Dieleman, former director of Aid to Women, a crisis-pregnancy centre located next to an abortuary in downtown Toronto?

Despite having eight children of her own and caring for innumerable foster children, Dieleman found the time and energy over the past 25 years to provide counseling, emotional and financial assistance to women troubled by a crisis pregnancy. During 19 of these years, Dieleman served as the unpaid director of Aid to Women. Altogether, she is credited with helping to save the lives of 1,500 babies.

That Dieleman and others like her have not been named to the Order of Canada is scandalous. At the least, the House of Commons Government Operations Committee should bring McLachlin and her colleagues on the Advisory Council to account before an open hearing and grill them on their biased recommendations for Order of Canada appointments. Most especially, members of the Committee should admonish the Advisory Council to stop discriminating against distinguished Canadians who uphold the natural family and the sanctity of human life.

Given the dominance of transgressive liberals and leftists in Parliament, no such hearing is likely any time soon. Regardless, the failure of the Governor General to appoint principled Canadians like Dieleman to the Order of Canada in recognition of their outstanding service will in no way impair their heroic determination to go on fulfilling their duty to do the right as God gives them to see the right.

1 comment:

Marika v.V. said...

I whole-heartedly agree! Henry Morgentaler said himself, "I deserve this award". But people like Joanne Dieleman do what they do because of their love for other people and because it is simply right. They do not do it in order to receive recognition or awards.