OTTAWA, May 1, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The ninth annual National March for Life in Ottawa this year is looking to be the best attended yet with increasing numbers of youth coming who will be certain to further boost the dynamism of the annual event.
Organizers report that the Thursday Rose dinner with dynamic keynote speaker Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life has sold 850 tickets so far – far exceeding previous Rose dinners. As well, 465 youth have registered to date for the Friday March for Life Youth Conference, also considerably exceeding previous years’ attendance.
Organizers had quite a fright last week as the Ottawa Congress Centre, which was to host the Rose Dinner, cancelled their contract with the March for Life because of a continuing strike by Congress Centre staff.
After intense scrambling, perfected last year when at the last minute Montreal’s St. Joseph’s Oratory also cancelled a contract to host the National Pro-Life Conference, March for Life organizers arranged what they consider an excellent substitute venue at the Crown Plaza Hotel in downtown Ottawa.
Campaign Life Coalition president Jim Hughes reports that Ambrose Atkins has done a wonderful job in attempting to replace “the irreplaceable Frank Mountain” who, confined to a wheelchair for many years, managed to be the catalyst for the whole march the past eight years. Hughes says that “Ambrose has filled in admirably for the irreplaceable Frank”.
Mountain has endured a serious health setback in recent months. He appears to be on the road to recovery but is expected to spend at least another month in hospital after additional surgery this week.
Hughes also reports that despite Campaign Life Coalition’s best efforts, a series of communications about the march appears not to have gotten through staff to many pro-life MPs this year. He recently discovered that many of the MPs, whom the March for Life is organized to support and encourage, were still not aware of the march activities.
Campaign Life Coalition is encouraging pro-life Canadians across the country to immediately call their Members of Parliament who they know to be pro-life minded and encourage them to be present on the Hill for the march kick-off and at the Rose Dinner that evening. As well, Hughes reminds those attending the march to arrange in advance to meet their MPs in Ottawa, pro-life or not, to encourage them to support legislation to protect the right to life from conception to natural death.
See the March for Life page on LifeSite www.lifesite.net/events/Marchforlife/2006/index.html.