A group of protesters stood peacefully outside the Mission Leisure Centre last week as a meeting of the pro-life group Right Now took place inside.
Right Now has been travelling across the country in an effort to create support of its initiative to elect pro-life candidates during the next federal election.
The protest group, called Warriors BC, has been holding demonstrations during all Right Now meetings in the Lower Mainland
Michelle Sikora, founder of the BC chapter of the Warriors, said Right Now is trying to mess with the Charter of Rights.
“What their agenda is, is they’re saying, because Canada doesn’t have any abortion laws, they are trying to get what they call pro-life – what I call anti-choice – MPs voted in,” Sikora said.
She said her organization fears that they will try to restrict women’s access to medical services.
“We are not here to try and stop them from saying anything, because they have the Charter of Rights protecting them under the freedom of speech, but that’s why we are here as well.”
Inside the building, Alissa Golob, co-founder and executive director of the political pro-life organization Right Now, was speaking to a group of about 40 people who came out to the meeting.
“We went from having 80 pro-life MPs in the last federal election to 40. We lost half of our pro-life MPs and some by fewer than 100 votes,” she said.
She asked the crowd to get involved and support local pro-life candidates.
“We don’t need every single MP in the House of Commons to be pro-life,” she said. “We can elect 170 pro-life MPs because that’s the 51 per cent that we need to pass a bill.”
Asked by the crowd who the pro-life candidate is in Mission, Golob named Conservative candidate Brad Vis.
Vis, who will be vying for the Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon riding seat, stopped by the event and spoke briefly with the protesters and the Right Now group.
“I thought it was very positive. I went there and I went right up to the pro-choice people and I had a great conversation. We didn’t obviously agree on everything but it was just good. The same thing with the pro-life group,” Vis said.
As for being a pro-life candidate, Vis said it isn’t something he’s focused on
“I’m focused on being a candidate that everybody can trust.”
He called abortion a “polarizing issue,” adding that he wants to focus on issues that bring people together.
“So I do, obviously, have my perspective as a person of faith, but the Conservative Party is not re-opening the abortion debate,” Vis said.