Media attention to abortion in Canada ebbs and flows, and has recently been in the spotlight yet again since the impending closure of the Morgentaler clinic in New Brunswick. The clinic is the only private clinic on the island and it’s closure ultimately speaks to the broader creation of barriers for women to find accessible options.

The closure, which will officially happen at the end of July, comes after years of legal battles between the clinic and the province over provincial funding for the clinic. The clinic cannot continue to operate without provincial funding. New Brunswick is the only province in Canada where private clinic abortions are not funded by provincial medicare.

Such a closure should bring home the fact that access to abortion rights in Canada are not accessible to all, and that it varies – at times massively – from province to province. The access those seeking abortion have, in the case of New Brunswick, can sometimes take the form of no choice at all. Even more shocking, the Morgentaler clinic in Fredericton is the only private abortion clinic east of Montreal.

Last week Justin Trudeau came out in favour of pro-choice, stating that in order to run in the Liberal caucus, a member must be pro-choice, or at least, vote pro-choice. The statement has garnered criticism from both external and internal sources. Not surprisingly, an Archbishop in Toronto has called on Trudeau to rethink his decision on the stance, and just yesterday a recording of Liberal MP John McKay criticizing Trudeau’s choice to issue such a stance was obtained by CTV News. In this incident, McKay called the subject “toxic” and questioned Trudeau’s decision to take such a stance.

Despite these criticisms, the fact that Trudeau is setting a party line on abortion is good to hear. Trudeau’s stance may meet party criticism, but it is a welcome reassurance for those in Canada who care deeply about the guarantee of rights for those looking for abortions. The stance also speaks to the fact that there could be a time when the debate is reopened at a federal level. It provides comfort for Liberal voters who are pro-choice that their MP will vote in a similar fashion.

However, recent media attention around Trudeau’s stance could be best shifted toward the closure of the Morgentaler clinic in New Brunswick. While it is perhaps a step to know that Trudeau is aware of the debate re-opening in Parliament, what are the major political parties doing to actively ensure that abortion rights are met in provinces across Canada

Efforts to rally around the Morgentaler clinic have mostly been grassroot, with the hashtag #NBprochoice becoming popular across Twitter, and pro-choice rallies for #NBprochoice happening across the country in the last month. According to the #NBprochoice campaign, there has been no reaction from the New Brunswick government, despite it being nearly two months since the clinic closed.

While it’s good to hear that politicians are aware that abortion rights in Canada are still being threatened, it would be much more comforting to see real action being taken to an urgent issue at hand. In order for federal parties to call themselves “pro-choice” they should be taking more action to actively ensure these rights are upheld – including pushing for provincial funding for the Morgentaler Clinic. Being pro-choice is not just something that matters in the 2015 election season, and not just in a House of Commons debate. It matters on the ground and beyond election season, each time a woman seeks abortion and is denied for lack of simple access.

Cinema LAmour Sackville

Cinema L’Amour, is a quirky Montreal band, lovingly described as nerdy loop-rock. (It’s also a porno theatre on St. Laurent and Duluth) The band is currently on an east-coast Canadian tour and ForgetTheBox is following them… well not really, but sort of.

While they are on the road, Dorian will be sending us blog posts detailing their adventures and exploring what it’s like touring across Canada. For the next few weeks we’ll be posting their updates culminating in their big welcome back show on June 2nd. Their first article detailed the preparation process for Cinema L’Amour and today we have an update from… Sackville?

Returning To Sackville

Hey there,
Right now, I’m sitting in a hotel room in scenic Sackville, NB. There are porcelain dolls everywhere. Everything in our room is blue, flowery, and trimmed with lace. It is… unique.

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We’re staying at a hotel this weekend because we’re in the company of Chris’ family. It’s convocation weekend, and his sister will be walking across the stage to shake hands with Peter Mansbridge (no kidding!) on Monday, so the whole Kavanagh Clan have joined us for the first few days of tour.

Cinema LAmour Sackville
Cinema L'Amour Headlining in Sackville, NB

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Due to the number of convocators in the Sackville music community, we had quite a multigenerational performance at Struts Gallery last night. Not only were Chris’ parents, sister and Grandmother in attendance, there was at least one other set of Grandparents in the venue. We’re serious about this whole all ages thing.

Sackville diner
Prepping CDs before the show

The lineup was nicely mixed with locals the Moany Jitchels playing their first “real” show to open the night, followed by east coast legends Construction and Destruction from Port Greville, NS.

The Jitchels brought amazing energy and a healthy dose of sassy swagger to the space, and Construction and Destruction’s measured poise had the audience rapt with attention.

Moany Jitchels
Moany Jitchels rocking out.
Construction destruction
Construction Destruction

Construction destruction band
Construction and Destruction swapping instruments like champs!

We finished off the evening with a short and sweet set of new and old songs. Some rocking out was done, there was some dancing along, and even a wee bit of hootin’ and hollerin’. It was great seeing so many faces we recognized from our last visit to town, and it was awesome to make so many new friends.

As is seemingly always the case in Sackville, as soon as the show was over almost 100% of the attendees, performers and venue staff migrated to Ducky’s Pub. We had great chats with the other musicians, fans, and even got offered another show in town. We’re extremely excited to announce we’ll be playing a house show at 15 Allison on May 30th, should be a blast!

As things got late, my memory starts getting cloudy.

I can say with some certainty that there was a keg stand.

This morning, it took a while to recover, I’ll say that much.

We’ll be chilling out in town all weekend, and then on Monday it’s off to Moncton and Plan B.

Can’t wait,

-D