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Graphic protest set up outside local high school

By: Staff

  |  Posted: Thursday, Nov 28, 2013 11:08 am

George McDougall High School students stand near protesters from the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform, a pro-life organization, on Nov. 21.
George McDougall High School students stand near protesters from the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform, a pro-life organization, on Nov. 21.
Matt Durnan/Rocky View Publishing

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Participants from the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform were outside George McDougall High School Nov. 21 to spread the message for their pro-life campaign.

The controversial group is required to contact RCMP, According to Rocky View Schools (RVS), before setting up its demonstration with graphic photographs portraying dead fetus.

RVS was notified a day prior to the demonstration, but the school division didn’t notify parents because, “it didn’t want to draw attention to the group’s cause,” Angela Spanier, director of communications with RVS told the Airdrie City View.

RVS did take proactive measure, according to Spanier, and had mental health workers at the school available for any student who wanted to speak about what they saw.

This isn’t the first time the group has made its presence known within the city limits, the group held demonstrations on June, 20, 2011 and August, 11, 2011.

On July 4, 2011, Airdrie resident Carolynn Olsen spoke to City council, and explained that her daughter – seven years old at the time – was “brought to tears that night,” after seeing the images.

“I believe that people have a right to their opinion and should be able to demonstrate when they see fit, but when it crosses the line of common decency and infringes on the rights of others and especially young children, I need to speak it out,” she told council in 2011.

City staff examined bylaws surrounding demonstrations at the time, and informed council that there were three bylaws in place, each come with a $250 fine if not adhered to.

The first states that pedestrians must not crowd or jostle others in an effort to cause discomfort or a disturbance. The second makes it unlawful for three or more people to group together on a highway, sidewalk or boulevard in order to prevent others from using that area. The last bylaw makes it unlawful for a person to ignore a peace officer’s order to disperse.

According to City’s laws, the three bylaws surrounding demonstrations remain unchanged.

“There are no bylaws that regulated these demonstrations any further than that,” Darryl Poburan, the City’s manager of municipal enforcement, RCMP and building inspections told council on Sept. 20, 2011.

According to the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform, the organization’s demonstrations are aimed at raising awareness for the pro-life platform.

The demonstration that took place on Nov. 21 was categorized as a Choice Chain demonstration.

“‘Choice’ Chain can be done as often as a group is able,” the organizations’ website explained.

“Certainly doing it more frequently generates greater experience and comfort and, most importantly, impact.

“Since ‘Choice’ Chain relies on a base of volunteers, it’s best to do it more often but for shorter periods, rather than less frequently for longer time frames. Aim for a one to two-hour demonstration that is held during a busy time, such as the lunch hour.”


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