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

The City of Victoria is proposing a northern contraction from Haultain Street to Bay Street with a western contraction from Cook Street to Chambers Street for Fernwood. (Illustration/Google Maps)
Community association calls for input on Victoria boundary changes

City of Victoria proposes changes to neighbourhood borders

Divyesh Nagarajan, third from the left, has founded the Be My Friend project to bring support and companionship to vulnerable youth and address North Saanich’s food security challenges. (Courtesy of Divyesh Nagarajan)
Greater Victoria teen looks to connect vulnerable youth with a buddy, bolster food security

Be My Friend project was founded by St. Michaels University School student Divyesh Nagarajan

These are just a handful of Vancouver Island’s missing person cases. Clockwise from top left: Lisa Marie Young, Lindsey Nicholls, Micheal Dunahee, Jesokah Adkens, Belinda Cameron and Emma Fillipoff. (File photos courtesy of family members and police departments)
Gorge skull fragment could bring closure to one Greater Victoria missing person case

Skeletal remains found in Greater Victoria have not yet been identified

(Black Press Media file photo)
UPDATE: Sooke Road reopens after gas leak at Colwood Corners

SD62 warns afternoon buses could be delayed

SIG
Policing amid pandemic challenging, says Sooke’s top cop

Mounties document reduction in property crime and impaired driving

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 rate creeps up again, 600 new cases Wednesday

One more death, 423 people in hospital with virus

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature in 2017. (Hansard TV)
UPDATE: B.C. will fund another year of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in schools

John Horgan government working on school meal program

Surrey RCMP is releasing sketches of a suspect in an “indecent act” at the Coyote Creek Elementary playground on April 30, 2021. Police said the suspect was clean-shaven “during some interactions” and on “other occasions had stubble outlining a goatee and mustache.” (Images: Surrey RCMP handout)
Vancouver mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart addresses supporters in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says there’s no time to redo details of drug decriminalization plan

Kennedy Stewart says a federal election could see the small window of opportunity close on the city’s bid for an exemption from criminal provisions on simple possession of small amounts of drugs

Premier Mike Horgan received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. (Facebook/John Horgan)
More than 50% of people eligible in B.C. have received 1st vaccine dose

‘We’ve made extraordinary progress together over the past few weeks,’ says Premier Horgan

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of a Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu on May 8. (Black Press Media file photo)
Indigenous woman shot by police was holding a replica gun, says Ucluelet First Nation

Woman has been identified as a member of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation

Most Read