Graphic flyers anger Burlington residents


Published November 1, 2023 at 6:16 pm

mailbox letters graphic abortion bylaw

The distribution of flyers and newsletters containing graphic images of aborted fetuses has raised the ire of Burlington residents who are calling for a clampdown on the practice.

Some residents say the material that is showing up in their mailboxes is “disturbing” and catches them off guard as the images often fall into the hands of unsuspecting children who empty the household letterbox.

They say the number of incidents has increased in recent weeks and the images have become more graphic.

“I understand these groups want to get their message out, but this is going too far,” said Laura Lynd, who lives in the Aldershot area. “It’s disturbing to me, so it must be upsetting to little kids who are exposed to it.”

Lynd said she and several of her neighbours have received flyers in the mail twice in the last two weeks.

For the most part, the unsolicited mailers are from pro-life groups calling themselves “Rights for Children” or “Canadians Against Abortion,” although they don’t specifically have an official presence online or elsewhere.

These groups say their flyers are intended to “shock” people and are meant to defend the rights of the unborn.

Responding to the local concern, Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan has proposed a bylaw regulating the unsolicited distribution of graphic images to homes.

Nisan said the images can be harmful to those who receive them, especially unsuspecting children.

However, Nisan acknowledged the issue could prompt those issuing the flyers to claim their Charter rights of expression are being discriminated against.

He pointed to other jurisdictions in Canada that have imposed rules that require graphic images to be enclosed in envelopes that come with a warning.

Burlington is looking into the implications of enacting a similar bylaw.



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