Honour still being challenged

  • October 17, 2008
{mosimage}TORONTO - An Order of Canada recipient who founded an orphanage for girls in Haiti is continuing his legal challenge to the federal government over Dr. Henry Morgentaler’s award nomination, even though the controversial pro-abortion activist received the country’s highest civilian honour on Oct. 10.

Frank Chauvin, a retired police detective from Windsor, Ont., launched a judicial review application in late July to the Federal Court of Canada through lawyer Gerard Charette. Toronto lawyer Phil Horgan is also helping with the case.
Chauvin was honoured with the Order of Canada for founding Holy Name of Mary Food Fund, which has been helping orphaned girls in Haiti for the past 20 years. He said Morgentaler’s appointment to the Order of Canada is ironic given the reason why Chauvin received the award in 1987.

“What Morgentaler is doing is opposite to what I’m doing. I’m trying to save these children, educate and help them. He’s doing the opposite by killing the babies,” Chauvin told The Register.

Charette said the review application is asking the federal court to set aside the recommendations of the Order of Canada’s advisory council which nominated Morgentaler on July 1.

“A significant concern is the involvement of a judge in these administrative matters,” Charette said during a telephone interview from Windsor, referring to Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, who chairs the advisory council.

At an Aug. 16 press conference in Ottawa, McLachlin denied allegations that she had a role to play in the nomination, saying that she abstained from voting.

The next court hearing for the application is set for Dec. 2.

As for the legal arguments for Chauvin’s application, Charette said the process is “incorrect” and “flawed” because the advisory council acted differently in similar circumstances involving another controversial award winner. In 2002, David Ahenakew was stripped of his award after making anti-Semitic statements.

“We are asking the federal court to review what the advisory council did and how it acted in arriving at its decision (with Morgentaler),” Charette said.

“It is intended that the Order of Canada should stand above political partisanship and political controversy.”

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