According to wikipedia, the Order of Canada is the highest civilian honour within the Canadian system of honours, with membership awarded to those who exemplify the order's Latin motto, taken from Hebrews 11:16, desiderantes meliorem patriam, meaning "they desire a better country." Created in 1967, the order was established to recognize the lifetime contributions made by Canadians who made a major difference to Canada, as well as the efforts made by non-Canadians who have made the world better by their actions. As of April 2008, 5,479 people have been appointed to the Order of Canada, including musicians, politicians, artists, television and film stars, benefactors, and others. Since 1994 Non-honorary members are the only regular citizens who are empowered to administer the Canadian Oath of Citizenship. The Canadian monarch, presently Elizabeth II, is Sovereign of the order, and the serving Governor General, presently Michaëlle Jean, is its Chancellor and Principal Companion.
On Tuesday, the Conservative government distanced itself from the appointment, saying it was not involved in the decision.
"Rideau Hall makes these appointments based on the recommendations of the Advisory Council for the Order which is chaired by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada,'''
Dimitri Soudas, a spokesperson for Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
The Governor General's website states that Morgentaler was made a member of the Order of Canada for:
"his commitment to increased health care options for women, his determined efforts to influence Canadian public policy and his leadership in humanist and civil liberties organizations."
Naturally, a day after the Governor General announced Morgentaler's appointment to the Order of Canada, the former abortion doctor held a news conference in Montreal, stating his push to expand access to abortions in the country has made women safer. The disturbing appointment has given further ammunition to Dr. Morgentaler and his goal. In his own words:
"(It's a) sign of recognition for all the work I've done over the years and the sacrifices I've made," he said Wednesday.
"How can my country tell me that this man is a hero for killing babies, he got it because he does abortions. If they don't have the guts to say it, why are we giving him the award?"
Affirming Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins words, the appointment is a "sad day for our country." I join with the Archbishop who is leading a letter-writing campaign to Ottawa to have Morgentaler's award rescinded.
I would also affirm his call on (Christians) to pray on Sunday that pleads for "the scourge of abortion to be lifted from our land"
My Letter to the Governor General sent to firstname.lastname@example.org:
Dear Madame Governor General;
In regards to the recent appointment of Dr. Henry Morgentaler to the Order of Canada, I believe it debases the order. I would concur with the comments of our Prime Minister who said that awarding Dr. Morgentaler the Order of Canada has sowed division in the country. Quoting his words, "My preference, to be frank, would be to see the Order of Canada be something that really unifies, that brings Canadians together…"
Since, members can be removed from the order if the Advisory Council feels their actions have brought the order into disrepute, I would request under section 25 (c) of The Constitution of the Order of Canada, that you, the Governor General, make an Ordinance terminating Dr. Henry Morgentaler’s appointment to the Order. This would restore the high honor of this award and return it to the purpose for which it was created.
In great respect;