Our View: Time for vigil to move on

There is a simple solution to the complicated and controversial conflict affecting a small group of residents in View Royal.

There is a simple solution to the complicated and controversial conflict affecting a small group of residents in View Royal.

It’s time to move on.

The weekly anti-abortion protests against a nearby women’s health centre are being held at a strategic location that just happens to be directly in front of a small housing complex on the Island Highway.

Residents of the complex say they’re fed up with the vigil, citing the proximity of the protestors and the feeling their personal privacy is compromised.

They have a point.

Every Thursday, when protestors arrive to hold up their placards advocating for alternatives to abortion, they begin their march mere meters from the living rooms of an old motel converted into housing units.

The building doesn’t have a front yard and thus there is essentially no buffer between the homes and the sidewalk.

Residents say they’re uncomfortable with the feeling of being watched by people pacing outside their home. Every time these residents leave their home, or when they welcome guests, the issue of abortion rights in this country is forced into their conscience.

It’s understandable that such an experience would feel disconcerting.

Tensions must become nearly unbearable when the vigil extends to 12 hour shifts for 40 days straight – the next one is planned for next month.

Those in charge of the vigil say they chose the spot they did because it’s visible to clients coming and going from a women’s health centre (one that offers many services as well as abortions). But by stubbornly occupying that spot the protestors are imposing their will on a group of people who should be allowed to stay out of the debate if they so choose.

Out of simple respect for these citizens, the pro-life vigil needs to find another strategic location – even if it’s just a few blocks away – to exercise its members’ right to free speech.

Just Posted

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Colwood square dancing open house to welcome in new dancers

“It’s therapy,” said long-time square dancer Linda Townsend

Green candidate expects a tight race in Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke

David Merner says Green Party would act as “strong moral conscience” in a minority Parliament

Christian bookstore’s Victoria location marks 80 years in business

The store opened on corner of Douglas Street, View Street in 1939

Tour Government House and other homes, enjoy art along the way

The Art Gallery’s 66th annual House Tour features artists at work, artistic floral displays

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Intelligence official charged seemed to be ‘exemplar of discretion’: UBC professor

Professor Paul Evans says he served on Cameron Ortis’s doctoral dissertation committee

B.C. police watchdog to investigate man’s head injury during RCMP arrest

Suspect fled on a bicycle and fell off when an officer attempted to stop him

Nanaimo company gets licence to test psychedelic drugs for therapy treatment

Salvation Botanicals interested in manufacturing, testing and research and development

Most Read