'You can't put yourself on two boats'
A couple stood outside of St. Charles College at dismissal time Dec. 19, holding signs sporting the slogan: “Cancel Trudeau. Choose Life.”
Jacques and Marie Jeanne Leclerc say they're opposed to federal Liberal leadership candidate Justin Trudeau's plans to speak at the school about youth leadership Dec. 21.
Along with at least one other protester, the couple also stood with their signs outside of the Sudbury Catholic District School Board office in the early morning of Dec. 19, and planned to be back that evening.
Leclerc said he and other pro-lifers, usually seen in front of Health Sciences North, plan to keep up the protests over the next few days, culminating with a protest in front of St. Charles during Trudeau's speech on Dec. 21.
“I'm protesting that Mr. Trudeau is coming to our Catholic schools,” he said. “He said that he's pro-choice. Then he's against abortion. You can't put yourself on two boats — one foot on one boat, and another foot on another boat. The next thing you know, he'll plunge.”
On Dec. 18, Roman Catholic Diocese of Algoma Bishop Jean-Louis Plouffe spoke favourably of Trudeau's visit.
“He is not estranged from the church in any way,” he said.
“In many ways, he can be a source of inspiration to the youth. It is important that our Catholic schools offer this opportunity to students to value community involvement here and abroad.”
Jacques said he's very surprised by Plouffe's statement, but emphasized the bishop's views aren't the same as his.
“It's not my view,” he said. “It'll never be my view. Even if Plouffe is my bishop, he has his views and I have mine.”
Trudeau told the Globe and Mail in November although he's personally opposed to abortion, women's reproductive rights should be a matter of individual choice for a woman faced with such a decision.
Earlier this week, Sudbury Catholic District School Board trustee Estelle Scappatura said she was opposed to Trudeau speaking at the school because of what she termed his “pro-abortion” views.
However, after Plouffe released his statement, she retracted her comments, saying she's no longer opposed to him speaking at the school.