Aha. Just before the story broke that Morgentaler would be received into the Order of Canada, Rob Anders was forced to take a sign down from his office window. The sign read “Defend Life”–we blogged about it here and here. Amélie Crosson, Communications Advisor, Office of the Honourable Jim Munson, Senator, sent an email to everyone on the Hill (and their dogs, too) about how she felt offended by just how political the sign was, and don’t we deserve more, and our Parliament is not a frat house…bla, bla, bla.
Turns out there’s no policy against signs in windows. Writes Tom Wappel, MP, in the Hill Times:
I contacted the Speaker’s office, the Sergeant-at-Arms Office, Canadian Heritage, the House Accommodation Services Office, and the Conservative Whip’s Office. Guess what? There is no policy!
Since there are signs in numerous other windows which were there before Mr. Anders removed his, and which are still there (e.g. “Veterans for Obama ’08 in the Confederation Building), I wanted to know why Mr. Anders’ sign (“Defend Life”) had been singled out for attention and removal. It turns out it was because someone had complained about it.
Why? Since other signs remain in windows, it is clear that there have been no complaints about other signs. Thus the complaint has to be not about a sign in a window, but about a sign in a window which was assumed to be a pro-life sign in a window.
Well, I am proud to be pro-life. Being so is not a criminal offence (yet). Expressing my pro-life views is not illegal (yet). What can be more fundamental in the very seat of our democracy than our Charter-cherished rights to freedom of speech and freedom of expression?
So, I have borrowed Mr. Anders’ innocuous sign and put it in my window in East Block, and there it will stay.
I am also a lawyer and I respect the rule of law. When and if there is a written policy agreed upon, banning all signs from all windows, I shall remove my sign, but only after all other signs have been removed.
Kudos to Tom Wappel for putting the sign in his window.