There are the beginnings of a growing grassroots movement underway in the blogosphere which I felt was necessary to add my voice to.
The nature of the growing controversy stems from a pro-life rally which was held in Ottawa this past week. It’s not the ideological content of the march which stirred the controversy since it was pretty much what one would expect from this sort of rally: anti-choice, super-philosophies seeking to authoritaritatively impose their morality on everyone else.
No, what was unexpected about this rally, however, was that the trademarked Government of Canada logo (so-called “wordmark” with the Canadian flag over the final “a” in the word “Canada”) would show up on the pro-life rally’s banners.
Take a look for yourself:
According to the Federal Identity Program (FIP) legal standards, the “Canada” wordmark can only be used by the Government of Canada or by non-governmental partnerships sponsored by the Government of Canada. So the question is: did the Government of Canada sponsor an anti-abortion rally or did the rally plagerize and illegaly display Government of Canada property?
Here’s where the plot thickens. I did some hunting around, and I found a Government of Canada website (here) which documents some specifics about how/when the “Canada” workmark ought to be used. Interestingly, this Government of Canada page links to the specific section of the FIP Manual (Section 1.1) which details the legality of displaying the wordmark, however, when you attempt to click on the hyperlink pointed to by this governmental website, you see that the .pdf file has either been moved or deleted and you get an error message.
It could just be a coincidence, but the Conservatives have deleted websites in the past to avoid embarrassment, so it’s possible that it’s something more as well.
Either way, the grassroots movement is attempting to get the government either to admit that they funded an anti-abortion rally or to get them to state publicly that they did not support this anti-abortion rally. The highest profile blogger to take up this cause is maverick MP Garth Turner (here), however JimBobby has a really good piece on this (here) as does the Unrepentant Old Hippie (here).
It seems to me more likely that the logo was used without permission. However, even if it was the group which was at fault for illegally brandishing the legitimizing symbol of the collective, the government must still be pressed to prosecute these usurpers to the fullest extent of the law. Irrespective of whether the government funded this or not, the illegal attachment of a government logo – our logo – to this movement cannot be allowed to go unprosecuted.
Not in my name.