TORONTO, Ont. Aug. 31, 2005 – The Catholic Civil Rights League ( today urged the federal government to stop funding anti-religious bigotry through its Status of Women Canada Department, or any other fund-granting agency. 

An Access for Information request by Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott recently  found that Pro-CAN, the B.C. Pro-Choice Action Network, received $27,400 in fiscal 2004-05. League President Phil Horgan said that government should not be in effect subsidizing opinions and causes that the vast majority of Canadians would consider to be at best controversial and at worst, insulting. 

Pro-CAN often employs vitriolic, anti-Christian language in its diatribes in favour of unrestricted access to abortion. Its publications routinely dismiss abortion opponents as “religious fanatics” who are “anti-woman and anti-child”; who do “little or nothing for children once they are born” and whose views breed “intolerance, hate crimes and war.” “Funding for Pro-CAN and similar groups amounts to favoured status for one side of an issue to promote causes and efforts that are insulting to most Canadians,” said Mr. Horgan. “There are many groups that engage in advocacy work on such issues as the definition of marriage, the right to life, freedom of religion and freedom of expression, with no government funding, and we believe all such groups are entitled to a level playing field,” said Mr. Horgan. 

In May of this year, the League demanded to know whether the e-zine, which published a cartoon showing Pope Benedict giving a Nazi salute to a statue of the Virgin Mary, received any government funding through its relationship with One World, an NGO funded by CIDA. Noting that CIDA funding to One World had ended a few months earlier, International Cooperation Minister Aileen Carroll said the anti-religious cartoon was “utterly disrespectful” and “totally inappropriate.”

 “We would hope Liza Frulla, Minister Responsible for the Status of Women, will uphold respect for religion and for the viewpoints of all Canadians and end its funding of Pro-CAN,” said Mr. Horgan.  

About CCRL

Catholic Civil Rights League ( assists in creating conditions within which Catholic teachings can be better understood, cooperates with other organizations in defending civil rights in Canada, and opposes defamation and discrimination against Catholics on the basis of their beliefs. CCRL was founded in 1985 as an independent lay organization. The Catholic Civil Rights League is a Canadian non-profit organization entirely supported by the generosity of its members.


For further information: Joanne McGarry, Executive Director, 416-466-8244;