Dr. M. McKay
Diplomate in Clinical Psychology
2100 Bloor Street West, Suite 6124
November 26, 2008
Ms. Emmanuelle Savours
Deputy Secretary, Chancellery of Honours
Office of the Secretary to the Governor General
1 Sussex Drive
Dear Ms. Savours:
Re: Henry Morgentaler & Order of Canada
I am writing to you as a Psychologist and as a concerned citizen regarding the above-named recipient of the Order of Canada. As a Psychologist I have practiced over 30 years in the area of child welfare and have been involved in a number of projects involving children’s rights. I have devoted much of my professional life to providing service, support and advocacy for those children who fit into Dr. Henry Mogentaler’s category of “unwanted children.” I was shocked and very disturbed at the decision to award Henry Morgentaler an Order of Canada. This decision, in my view, sends a most unfortunate message to society and especially to people who have had experiences of rejection but who, thankfully, escaped the ministrations of Dr. Morgentaler. I do not share his views that these people who experienced parental rejection are undesirables– the type of people who are likely to wreak havoc on society–the type of people who end up at war crimes tribunals.
As a private citizen, I am also aware of the disparity of response to Mr. David Ahenakew’s negative attitudes and Dr. Morgentaler’s harmful attitudes and actions. In keeping with the Advisory Council’s recommendations and actions by the governor general in revoking Mr. David Ahenakew’s Order of Canada membership, it is my position that it will be necessary to revoke Henry Morgentaler’s Order of Canada in accordance with your Article 25(c) of the Constitution of the Order of Canada.
Mr. David Ahenakew’s membership was revoked on the basis that not revoking it would “bring the Order into disrepute because of his stated negative attitudes toward the Jews”. Mr. Ahenakew reportedly blamed the holocaust on the Jews, obviously an unfortunate and uninformed idea. However, there is no evidence that he actually assaulted or killed any Jews.
On the other hand, we have Dr. Henry Morgentaler who has put forward a similarly untutored idea about unwanted children being responsible for the holocaust and (from what appears from my understanding of his stated opinions) all types of hate-based behaviour in society. There is absolutely no scientific basis for his ideas, (many of the Nazis, for instance, were ordinary well-adjusted family men, as documented by serious psychological and sociological researchers, e.g. Hannah Arendt); but Henry Morgentaler has used these prejudicial and dangerous attitudes about children to justify and promote the killing of thousands of infants. Whereas Mr. Ahenakew’s ill-informed theories have not resulted in deaths, but he has nonetheless been deprived of his Order of Canada as a result of his opinions, Dr. Mogentaler’s ill-informed theories have resulted in the murder of thousands of unborn children who have been labelled, by him, as undesirables and dangerous. In essence, the Order of Canada has bestowed honour on someone who espouses attitudes and policies which are virtually identical to the Nazis’ beliefs that the Jews were undesirable, dangerous people—but in this case, it is rejected babies who are the dangerous undesirables. (It is interesting how the migration of the notion from “undesired” to “undesirable” can so easily occur, the ease of which should be sobering and instructive).
It is, therefore, untenable, that while Mr. Ahenakew’s Order is revoked, that Dr. Morgentaler continues to tarnish the reputation of the Order of Canada by retaining his. I trust that this information will prompt a rapid response to bring the Order of Canada into compliance and consistency with its earlier rulings.
Original signed and mailed to recipient
Dr. Marty McKay, Ph.D., C. Psych., ABPP
Cc: interested parties and organizations