Bishop Michael Bird wants to prevent suicide

From here:

Dear Prime Minister:

On behalf of the Diocese of Niagara I write to express my support of Bill C-300, the Federal Framework for Suicide Prevention Act, a private member’s bill which requests the federal government to present legislation to parliament to enact a national strategy for suicide prevention.

The bishop’s letter goes on to note:

Yet Canada is still one of the few countries in the western world not to have a national strategy on suicide prevention despite the efforts of many experts and volunteers over the years.

It is my belief that we are all created in the image of God and thus we must do all in our power to preserve and protect the dignity of every human life. Creating a national strategy on suicide prevention is imperative in order to protect the sacred gift that is human life.

All true, of course, and worthy of support.

And yet, why is the stalwart bishop exerting his formidable influence on the government of Canada for this particular piece of legislation? Those last two sentences could equally well apply to the abysmal situation on abortion in Canada, a killing field that claims far more lives than suicide. One reason is that supporting an anti-suicide bill doesn’t really take much courage: who is likely to argue against it? Denouncing abortion would raise the hackles of all the trendy women priests in the diocese, enough to make the most doughty bishop quail.

A second reason is the gay component: the diocese is obsessed with legitimising homosexuality and, for some, this bill is aimed squarely at doing just that. Here is Philip Toone, NDP MP for Gaspésie, for whom the bill is a clarion call for societal change to normalise homosexual behaviour and eradicate “homophobia”. And that is a cause near and dear to the bishop and his senior clerics:

The issue of suicide is particularly worrisome to me. I cannot forget the recent suicide of Jamie Hubley, a 16-year-old gay man who was the victim of harassment by his peers. As member of the NDP’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender caucus, I was proud to hear our caucus’s LGBT critic, the member for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, speak in the House of Commons on October 20, Spirit Day.


Spirit Day was started in 2010 by Canadian teenager Brittany McMillan to remember the LGBT and questioning youth lost to suicide. Spirit Day is also a time to rally governments and institutions nationwide to denounce homophobic bullying, which is a major contributor to these tragic losses.


While I applaud the member for Kitchener—Conestoga for bringing the bill forward and recognizing that suicide is a medical issue that needs to be dealt with nationally, it is also true that suicide is much more than a medical issue. It is a social and economic issue as well.

2 thoughts on “Bishop Michael Bird wants to prevent suicide

  1. A few points here:

    Suicide is a sad issue amongst youth, but there are far more sexually typical youth who commit suicide than homosexual/trans-gendered youth. It is simply politically apt to draw as much attention to the suicide victims’ homosexuality, when it existed, as it is to say that this happens to all manner of youths will all manner of problems, and it is sad for whatever reason. I read the Jamie Hubley accounts, and I have to say that all or most teens his age go through serious angst of several types, and do not always have their school demands met, but they do get through it. I can’t help but wonder if this boy was brain-washed into believing that his every sexuality-related demand must be met, by everyone, or he was a major victim and life was therefore not worth living. Far more people have gone through far worse in life.

    This seems to be another instance of the so-called “political advocates” rubbing their hands in glee that another crime or social problem has happened and, gee, someone who was _____, ______, or _______ was the victim, so we can use it for our agenda…..hurray!!

    Another point. You’re so right, David, that with all the Bishop’s blathering about protecting the sanctity of life, he rather overlooks the obvious — abortion. We get a sermon at least once every few months in my parish along the same lines, and I keep waiting for our priest to bring up abortion, but of course it never happens. Is it done to stand up in the pews and say, “Hey, wait a minute there, Rev. so-and-so… missed something?”

    And yes, most definitely — political expedience always wins the day when it comes to ACofC concerns. I heard that the Bishop in Ottawa pushed for everyone to publicly demonstrate to end that city’s bus strike of last year, but was nowhere to be seen in the March for Life on Parliament Hill. Very telling.

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