Pro-lifers march along downtown Ottawa streets in 2016. Register file photo

March for Life navigating around bubble zone street issues

  • March 16, 2018

OTTAWA – After a year of battles over Charter freedoms, euthanasia, conscience rights and bubble zone legislation, March for Life organizers expect a large turnout for their May 10 trek to Parliament Hill.

First, however, there’s a few hurdles to overcome, the most pressing being the route of the march, which has to be altered to avoid breaking bubble zone laws that prevent anti-abortion demonstrations within 50 metres of an abortion clinic. The march has traditionally looped through Ottawa’s downtown, returning to Parliament Hill via Bank Street, where the Morgentaler abortion clinic is located.

“We don’t know what is going to happen because of the route,” Campaign Life project manager Matthew Wojciechowski said.

“At the same time, the show must go on. We’re going as every year, getting people on buses, organizing school trips and church trips and we’ll see what happens.”

Paul Lauzon, of Campaign Life’s Ottawa office, said organizers have met with the Ottawa police where they were presented with four possible routes, none of which will pass by the Morgentaler clinic. Police told them they would not engage counter protesters if they stand in the way, but will reroute the march on the spot, Lauzon said. 

The March for Life also has yet to hear whether the committee that grants access to Parliament Hill grounds has approved this year’s event.

“I don’t know if they can ban it,” Lauzon said. “They can deny access to Parliament Hill. If it’s not available, we will have to get our own stage and electrical equipment...One certainty is the march is going to happen and we’re coming down to Ottawa.” 

Campaign Life Coalition expects to draw over 20,000 to the march.

“With the attack on freedom of speech, expression and conscience from the highest levels of government — Justin Trudeau’s politicization of the Canada Summer Jobs Program and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s abortion bubble zones, the widespread promotion of deadly chemical abortion in Canada, and the federal government’s global abortion fund, funded by Canadian tax dollars, it is very clear that our political leaders in this country are driven by radical ideologies that place the future of our nation in jeopardy,” said Jim Hughes, president of Campaign Life Coalition in a release. “If they come after the rights of pro-life Canadians today, whose rights will they remove next?”

While the march has always been primarily about ending abortion, the movement also encompasses the fight against euthanasia and assisted suicide, the fight for conscience rights and for religious freedom and freedom of expression, Wojciechowski said.

The theme for this year’s march is “PRO-LIFE ALL IN.”

More information on the march can be found at

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