Last year our organization wrote to then Kelowna Mayor Sharon Shepherd to protest the decision to proclaim Protect Human Life Week. We have reiterated our opposition to this decision to again proclaim this Week in a joint letter to Mayor Walter Gray, commissioned by the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada. The BC Humanist Association continues to see this proclamation as an affront to women’s legal rights and the separation of church and state.
Furthermore, by endorsing this proclamation, the Mayor and Council are adding their voices to the minority of Canadians that oppose Gloria Taylor in her fight for assisted suicide. The law banning assisted suicide was struck down last year. That decision is currently before the BC Court of Appeal but Taylor maintains a constitutional exemption, should she wish to hasten her own death. The proclamation’s sponsors, the Kelowna Right to Life Society, are opposed to offering the terminally ill dignified choices.
The Mayor’s position on this issue is shameful. He has stated that to rescind this proclamation would discriminate against members of the Kelowna Right to Life Society; however, by supporting it, he perpetuates discrimination against women and the terminally ill.
We again call upon the Mayor of Kelowna to rescind this proclamation and to support equal rights for all members of the community.
Ian Bushfield, Executive Director