Planned Parenthood Ottawa (PPO) expressed disappointment today following the city of Ottawa’s quiet release of its new policy on flag raising.
“The city took five months to come up with a flag raising policy that is unclear and changes nothing to the previous policy”’ said Catherine Macnab, Executive Director of PPO. “The policy needed to address the city offering support to groups that oppose basic human rights, and it failed.”
After the City allowed an anti-abortion flag to be raised over city hall last spring to coincide with an annual demonstration on Parliament Hill by anti-abortion groups, citizens were outraged. PPO and other like-minded organizations called on Mayor Watson to cease providing city support to these causes and to clarify the city’s policy on this matter.
“We received no response from the Office of Protocol or from the Mayor despite attempts to engage. We would have been happy to help them formulate a policy that prevents symbols of intolerance on a public building like city hall,” said Macnab. “To not have been given any heads up about these changes demonstrates that the Mayor is out of touch with community concerns.”
In addition to the flag policy, PPO requested that the city review its proclamation procedures. Every year, Mayor Watson signs a proclamation for the anti-abortion March for Life.
“Mayor Watson avoided reviewing the proclamation procedures. Does this mean he plans to sign it again?” asked Macnab. “It certainly seems that the Mayor is choosing a side and it’s not the side of reproductive rights.”
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For more information, please contact:
Catherine Macnab, Executive Director, PPO
613-790-3924 or firstname.lastname@example.org