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Pro-Life Canada
Ottawa march provides encouragement and public witness

Pro-life advocates in Canada can become discouraged.

“You sometimes feel alone or isolated and think that you’re the only one out there,” said Guy Dacquay, an Ottawa resident who has been active for 20 years on pro-life issues in his parish and his Knights of Columbus council.

Guy and Christine Dacquay joined 12,500 pro-lifers on Parliament Hill.

Guy and Christine Dacquay joined 12,500 pro-lifers on Parliament Hill.

But at the annual March for Life in Ottawa, he noted, thousands of “isolated” pro-lifers gather for fellowship and encouragement.

“You gain so much energy and you realize that you are not alone, that there are so many others who share your concern for life,” said Dacquay.

He and his wife, Christine, were among the 12,500 who took part in this year’s March for Life on May 13. The couple, who have six children, began with a Mass offered by Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa and concelebrated by a large number of Canadian bishops and priests.  Afterward they gathered on Parliament Hill for a rally and then walked with signs and prayers through the streets of Ottawa. Although the event does not attract the 200,000 that turn out for the March for Life in Washington, D.C., Dacquay said that the annual witness in Ottawa is having an effect.

“What you want is to change hearts and minds; that is the real purpose, and I see it working slowly,” he said. He said that “deep down,” Canadians are pro-life, but they are a little more reserved in talking about such things in public.

Abortion was legalized in 1969 and has gone largely unchallenged in public until recent years.

Cardinal Ouellet was a featured speaker at the rally on Parliament Hill. While noting the recent positive step by the Canadian government, which decided not to include support for abortion in its G8 maternal health plan, the cardinal called for more progress at home. “We would like some more courage, some more courage to do something more in Canada,” he said.

Also speaking were 21 Members of Parliament, including leaders of the Pro-Life Parliamentary Caucus.

Carl Anderson, supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus, which has 250,000 members in Canada, led a large contingent of Knights at the March.

“Our supreme knight is always so inspiring and everyone in the pro-life movement is happy to have the support of the Knights,” Dacquay said.