University Student Association Slanders Pro-life Group

The Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (CCBR) threatened to sue the Carleton University Students' Association (CUSA) last Thursday because of slander. CUSA's president Shawn Menard was quoted on CFRA radio in Ottawa on November 29 as saying, "The Genocide Awareness Project, as you know, is a group that talks about the fact that the Holocaust did not happen."

"Mr. Menard has made a slanderous statement and we demand an unambiguous retraction and apology," said Stephanie Gray, executive director of the anti-abortion CCBR. "If Mr. Menard and CUSA do not make amends, we will file suit against them."

The Genocide Awareness Project (GAP), a project of the CCBR, is a graphic display that visually compares aborted human beings to victims of other atrocities, such as Jews during the Holocaust.

"We most certainly acknowledge that the Holocaust happened and we unequivocally condemn the injustice," said Gray. CCBR's printed materials and website consistently refer to the Holocaust as an atrocity of great magnitude.

On November 30, Gray sent a letter to Menard demanding an apology and retraction. The following day, Menard sent a brief email to her, writing that he realized afterwards he had made an incorrect statement. However, "Mr. Menard offered no apology," said Gray. "We made it clear that he and CUSA had until Friday, December 8 to meet our expectations or we will take legal action."

CCBR expects the following: (1) an unambiguous retraction and apology to its satisfaction, (2) that the statement be submitted for broadcast on the CFRA radio station and in the form of a "Letter to the Editor" of The Charlatan newspaper, and (3) that the statement be placed on CUSA's website with a visible link to it from the home page, for the next sixty (60) days.

Gray's colleague, Jose Ruba, was at Carleton University last month to debate abortion against representatives from Planned Parenthood Ottawa and Canadians for Choice. In his remarks he applauded the actions of a woman, Corrie ten Boom, who risked her life to hide Jews and others from the Nazis during World War II.

In fact, Ruba's debate was the impetus for a controversial motion that could result in CUSA affirming a "woman's right to choose" and disallowing CUSA "resources, space, recognition or funding [being] allocated for anti-choice purposes." The controversial motion, first raised November 21, is undergoing some amendments and will be voted on this Tuesday.

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