Mainstream reporter admits to downplaying attendance of March for Life, Freedom Convoy – LifeSite

(Campaign Life Coalition) — Canadians expect that the “facts” printed in newspapers are true facts.

Not lies.

Not spin, presented to distort the reality of a situation in order to bias readers towards a particular ideological viewpoint.

The Canadian people don’t want their newspapers to knowingly print lies. Yet, that’s exactly what the National Post, one of Canada’s largest and most trusted newspapers, did on May 11th.

During the March For Life rally on Parliament Hill, the National Post’s Catherine Lévesque approached me for an interview. I was right in front of the speaker’s stage, off to the side a bit. Keep in mind that to make her way to the front of the stage, Lévesque had to have walked through the human mass, which our study of a time-lapsed video of the event put at more than 5,000 people.

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The son of pastor Artur Pawlowski could be facing massive fines and jail time after he preached Bible verses outside a drag queen story time held at a public library over the weekend.

Nathaniel Pawlowski was detained and ticketed on Saturday by Calgary Police Service (CPS) because he was preaching too “close” to the drag event, in an apparent violation of a new and oppressive bylaw.

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Pawlowski said that he was outside the event to “preach, read the Bible and just speak.” 

Video of the incident shows Pawlowski along with his friend Deklan Friesen speaking to a crowd outside the library.

Calgary City Council last month passed a new “Safe and Inclusive Access Bylaw” that disallows “specified protests” both inside and outside all city-owned and affiliated public buildings. Mayor Jyoti Gondek put her full support behind the buffer zone bylaw.

Please tell Mayor Gondek that the bylaw violating Charter freedoms is both unjust and absurd

The bylaw means pastors or concerned parents protesting pro-LGBT events at public buildings are barred from getting within 100 meters of any such location.

Top constitutional lawyer John Carpay recently blasted Calgary City Council for going to “war” against Canadians’ freedoms by using bylaws to target people’s ability to protest events at public facilities, including drag queen performance directed at children. 

In an opinion piece published on March 17 in the Western Standard, Carpay said “freedom of expression is meaningless if citizens are only allowed to say what’s approved by the government, or if expression is banished from public spaces.” 

Pawlowski noted that his ticket has no penalty listed yet, as police must “review the evidence on me and that they will be stopping by my home to issue charges.”  

His ticket does have a mandatory court appearance date. Each charge under Calgary’s bylaw carries a maximum fine of up to $10,000 and up to a year in jail.

SIGN: Nathaniel Pawlowski MUST NOT be fined or jailed for protecting kids from Drag Queens 

Pawlowski had asked the police officers if they would also be enforcing “the same law on to the other side with the Antifa protesters”, but nobody was served a ticket except for he and Friesen.

In June 2022, Calgary City Council, under its left-leaning Mayor Jyoti Gondek, amended the city’s bylaws to “specifically prohibit insulting or demeaning behavior, including unwanted sexual advances, or harassing anyone on the basis of age, race, sexual orientation, disability, gender, gender identity or gender expression, among others.” 

In February, Gondek vowed to use the bylaw to go after drag queen story hour protesters after some of the events were postponed by pro-family objectors. 

In early March, fulfilling her promise, Calgary City Council then passed the bylaw that banned protesting against drag queen story hours or any other “LGBTQ” events held at public facilities. 

SIGN: Nathaniel Pawlowski MUST NOT be fined or jailed for protecting kids from Drag Queens 

Carpay noted that while there are limits to free speech,  “Canadians have every right to express their views in public places, regardless of the content of the expression.” 

He also wrote how a 1992 Supreme Court of Canada decision in R. v. Zundel “explained all communications which convey or attempt to convey meaning are protected by the Charter [of Rights and Freedoms], unless the physical form by which the communication is made (for example, a violent act) excludes protection.” 

“The purpose of the Charter’s free expression guarantee is to promote truth, self-fulfillment, and political and social participation. That purpose extends to the protection of minority beliefs which the majority regards as wrong or false,” wrote Carpay. 

According to Carpay, Gondek seems to “believe it is wrong or false to oppose drag queen story readings in public libraries.” 

“She is entitled to express her views, but not to impose her views on others by effectively banning peaceful public protests through a so-called ‘Safe and Inclusive Access’ bylaw,” noted Carpay. 

There exists a “freedom of expression” which includes the “right” to choose “high-visibility locations to hold up signs or banners, sing or chant, hand out literature, gather signatures on a petition, and have a speaker get up on her soapbox,” continued the lawyer. 

“Protests are often held at the locations where injustices (or perceived injustices) are actually occurring,” he added. 

Christian pastor Derek Reimer was jailed and charged in early March for protesting a children’s drag queen story hour at a public library in Calgary.  

Carpay wrote that the city council’s use of “coercive power to relegate peaceful protesters to obscure locations where they cannot be seen or heard,” amounts to “crushing a fundamental Charter freedom on which our democracy depends.” 

“The point of protests is to be seen and heard,” wrote Carpay. 

Carpay noted that being forced to stand 100 meters away from high-visibility and high-traffic areas “reduces freedom of expression to near irrelevance.” 

“Protecting entrances from obstruction is already taken care of by the Criminal Code, and does not require a bylaw that imposes up to $10,000 in fines and up to a year in jail for peacefully protesting less than the length of four swimming pools away from an entrance,” charged Carpay. 

According to Carpay, the Charter’s protection for free speech applies to those at the receiving end of a person speaking out.  

“Potential listeners who have the right to hear diverse points of view, and to decide for themselves what is true and false rather than having Mayor Gondek decide on their behalf,” said Carpay. 

“Calgary’s ‘Safe and Inclusive Access’ bylaw violates the rights of all Calgarians, speakers and listeners, and attacks diversity of thought and belief.” 

Carpay noted that “repressive regimes always take great pains to ensure their subjects are kept ‘safe’ from ideas which the regime believes to be wrong or false.” 

“In the past – and still today – those living in communist North Korea, national socialist Germany, theocratic Iran, Putin’s Russia, communist China and many other places have been kept very safe from ideas that the regime dislikes,” wrote Carpay.  

Carpay noted that in a “free society,” there is no way everyone can be “safe” from hearing one’s opposing views. 

“The ‘safety’ which woke activists on Calgary City Council are promising is attractive to those who support children being exposed to drag queens at public libraries,” wrote Carpay.

“But beware of the erosion of freedom, because the demons of censorship cannot be controlled after their release.” 

In addition to Carpay, the Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF) has also objected to the new bylaw, and has vowed to commence a legal challenge against the “unconstitutional” policy. 

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Pastor Artur Pawlowski’s son detained in Calgary for preaching against drag show – LifeSiteNews

Canadian constitutional lawyer rips Calgary law banning drag queen story hour protests – LifeSiteNews

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When I read her National Post column the next day, I was irritated to find that Lévesque had misreported attendance as being mere “hundreds of people.” From the National Post article:

[Conservative MP Cathay] Wagantall did not speak at the March for Life event, something she has done many times in the past. But Conservative MP Arnold Viersen offered brief remarks at the microphone to thank the hundreds of people gathered in front of Parliament Hill. (emphasis added)

Here’s an aerial photo of the rally on Parliament Hill, which doesn’t even capture the overflow of people onto Wellington Street to the south. Pro-lifers are the large group on the right (facing). The tiny group to the left of the metal barricade was the pro-abortion counter-protesters who numbered fewer than 200.

I immediately emailed Lévesque, pointed out the problem, and asked her to correct the factual error ASAP. I supplied our time-lapse video as proof, so that if she wanted to, she could count the pro-life protestors marching through downtown Ottawa following the rally on the Hill. I also sent her a photo.

Her reply to me was shocking.

Lévesque admitted that the false attendance numbers in her story were purposeful. Furthermore, she explained that it is the policy of the National Post to falsify attendance figures by reporting “hundreds” of people when they know there are “thousands.”

She said that, as a “rule,” the descriptor of “thousands” is reserved for protests where there are “tens of thousands” of people in attendance.

Huh? How does this represent honest journalism?

You might as well have a policy of reporting that two plus two makes five! It’s not much different from printing that “a handful” of people gathered when you know there were hundreds.

Freedom Convoy numbers also falsified

As if it’d make me feel better to know that this “rule” was not applied only to Campaign Life Coalition, Lévesque told me that the Freedom Convoy had been treated the same way in National Post’s coverage of that historic protest.

I hope Catherine will excuse me if I say that it didn’t make me feel any better to know that the National Post lied in multiple news reports.

I once again replied to Ms. Lévesque and politely but emphatically requested that the article be corrected. I did not want to go public. I truly just wanted the National Post to correct the misinformation they had published. However, as of this writing, CLC has waited 11 days for a correction, and it’s clear that such a correction will not happen. So, we have no choice but to expose the deceptive journalism at play in the coverage of the National March For Life.

Here’s a screenshot of Lévesque’s email reply:

I’ve been interviewed by Catherine before, and I realize this could be the last time she seeks comment from Campaign Life Coalition. It would be unfortunate, but we hope this incident will have a positive effect by nudging the paper to establish a new policy about truthfulness in reporting on issues with which the editorial board may disagree.

To that end, I encourage readers to fill out the National Post’s feedback form, right here, and ask them to apologize for the misinformation it published about the number of attendees at the National March For Life.

Other media outlets no better

By no means is the National Post the only media outlet whose coverage is biased against the March For Life. Many mainstream media outlets black out the largest annual protest at Parliament Hill altogether, not even mentioning it.

This year the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) was just as sneaky and misleading in its coverage as the National Post. In the state broadcaster’s story, the word “thousands” was used, but they carefully worded it so that people wouldn’t know for sure whether the protestors were at Parliament Hill to oppose abortion… or to support it! From the CBC’s story:

As thousands of protesters descended on Ottawa Thursday to demonstrate over abortion rights, the Liberals and the NDP used the opportunity to keep the issue at the center of public debate. (emphasis added)

One might interpret in the above sentence that thousands of “pro-choice” demonstrators were there to support the legal status quo on abortion. Or perhaps, readers might be led to interpret that an equal number of pro-life and pro-abortion protestors were demonstrating?

However, the truth is buried completely, i.e., the fact that thousands of pro-lifers were there opposing abortion while maximum two hundred were rallying to defend it.

Do you see a pattern in terms of mainstream media not wanting the public to know that the pro-life movement is large and organized?

We must pray not only for our politicians who refuse to tell the truth about the evil of abortion, but also the journalists and their editors who are working hard to keep the Canadian public ignorant about this issue.

Reprinted with permission from Campaign Life Coalition. 

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