On Sept. 5 of this year the President of Parkland Right for Life, Ted Deneschuk requested to appear before Yorkton City Council to provide a submission in support of an application to have the City proclaim the week of Oct 1 – 7, 2017 as ‘Right for Life Week’.
City officials informed Mr. Deneschuk that the City had decided to deny his request.
The decision did not sit well with Deneschuk, President of the Parkland Right to Life.
“In a letter sent to Mr. Deneschuk on September 6, the City stated that his request was denied because a ‘Right for Life’ week proclamation would contravene section 3.B.ii of the City’s Proclamation Policy. The Policy states that proclamations will not be issued for “(matters) of political controversy, ideological, or religious beliefs or individual (sic) conviction,” detailed material Deneschuk circulated at the regular meeting of Yorkton Council Monday.
The release circulated went further in suggesting “Notwithstanding the Proclamation Policy, the City has made a practice of issuing proclamations for subject which could be viewed as controversial, ideological and religious subjects. For example, the week of March 26 – April 1, 2017 was proclaimed by the City as “Gender Diversity Week” and May 13, 2017 was proclaimed as “Falun Dafa Day.”
Deneschuk turned to the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms for an opinion on the City decision to refuse his request.
In a letter addressed to Terry Schneider, Director of Legislation & Procedures, City of Yorkton, with the City, the Justice Centre said with the refusal to hear the request “the City has breached its duty of neutrality and has acted arbitrarily, unreasonably and with bias.”
In addition the letter called for the City to “cease its discriminatory treatment of pro-life views and of Mr. Deneschuk.”
So Monday Deneschuk was in front of Council requesting Council proclaim the week of October 29 – November 4, 2017 as ‘Respect for Life Week’ pursuant to the City’s Proclamation Policy.
The letter circulated regarding the request noted, “The month of October has been celebrated as “Respect for Life Month” in Canada and the United States since 1972.
“The purpose of “Respect for Life Week” is to raise awareness regarding life issues and to celebrate the inherent value, dignity and diversity of human life.”
The request was approved with Mayor Bob Maloney and Councillor Randy Goulden opposed.