Government Sponsoring Anti-Abortion March?

So much going on right now – tons to share on the Mozilla debate, the APEX conference, and the government bans on Facebook – will be getting to it all next week. In the meantime, I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on this:

I was in Ottawa yesterday (May 10th) and ran headlong into the annual March for Life.

Politics around the issue aside (I’m pro-marching for what you believe in – whatever you believe) I was surprised to see that the big 30 foot long “March for Life” banners at the front of the march had the Government of Canada logo on them.

You, know, this logo:

Gov of Can logo

Is the government of Canada sponsoring anti-abortion groups? Normally you use this logo if you receive government funding. Not sure what the rules are around government funding political advocacy groups? Anybody know?

Alternatively, maybe the march’s organizing body just grabbed the logo and slapped it on its banners? Is this logo trademarked? Is this a trademark violation? Although I somehow suspect that no one at Justice is getting all that excited about it.

Either way, it is interesting…

25 thoughts on “Government Sponsoring Anti-Abortion March?

  1. David Eaves Post author

    Sorry I don’t have any photo’s of the actual banners – they were the lead banners though, about 20-25 feet wide with big red letters “March for Life” across them. The gov logo was in the middle of the banner, above the text, about 1.5-2 feet wide.

    No one – not even the Ottawa citizen – seems to be carrying any stories on the march.

    Reply
  2. David Eaves

    Sorry I don’t have any photo’s of the actual banners – they were the lead banners though, about 20-25 feet wide with big red letters “March for Life” across them. The gov logo was in the middle of the banner, above the text, about 1.5-2 feet wide.No one – not even the Ottawa citizen – seems to be carrying any stories on the march.

    Reply
  3. David Eaves Post author

    JJ – would love to know who was right, and about what. Can you send me a link?

    A reader of the blog sent me an email
    confirming that the use of the logo is fairly well guarded…

    Reply
  4. David Eaves

    JJ – would love to know who was right, and about what. Can you send me a link?A reader of the blog sent me an email confirming that the use of the logo is fairly well guarded…

    Reply
  5. Amy G

    I ran into the march on Parliament Hill, coming out of a committee meeting, about 12:30. There were about 15 MPs, mostly conservatives. I stood, mouth agape, staring at the crowd. I saw a lot of banners, but interestingly, did not see the one David mentioned. Not to say it wasn’t there, but I did stand and stare for a few minutes, and that seems like something I would have caught. I wonder if it was at the head of the march and taken down at the rally on the hill?

    Reply
  6. Amy G

    I ran into the march on Parliament Hill, coming out of a committee meeting, about 12:30. There were about 15 MPs, mostly conservatives. I stood, mouth agape, staring at the crowd. I saw a lot of banners, but interestingly, did not see the one David mentioned. Not to say it wasn’t there, but I did stand and stare for a few minutes, and that seems like something I would have caught. I wonder if it was at the head of the march and taken down at the rally on the hill?

    Reply
  7. David Eaves Post author

    Okay so I found a video that clearly shows the banner I was talking about with the logo.

    Doesn’t this mean that the government is either sponsoring this event or that this is a trademark violation?

    (The logo comes up in the first five seconds of the video)

    Reply
  8. Tina Piper

    Unbelievable! This is either a trademark violation or a total misuse of public funds for anti-abortion campaigning.

    A quick search of the Canadian trademark database shows that the trademark is protected as an official mark: http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/app/cipo/trademarks/search/viewTrademark.do;jsessionid=0000w734Ud1CX-ldS_8uy9Us9rN:vjite1ad?language=eng&fileNumber=0902330&extension=0&startingDocumentIndexOnPage=1

    An official mark should only be used for official federal government wares and services. Which, if M4L isn’t infringing, means that the federal government either funded March for Life or considers it to be carrying out the duties of one of its departments. Any way you look at it it’s all wrong…

    Reply
  9. David Eaves

    Okay so I found a video that clearly shows the banner I was talking about with the logo.Doesn’t this mean that the government is either sponsoring this event or that this is a trademark violation?(The logo comes up in the first five seconds of the video)

    Reply
  10. Tina Piper

    Unbelievable! This is either a trademark violation or a total misuse of public funds for anti-abortion campaigning. A quick search of the Canadian trademark database shows that the trademark is protected as an official mark: <a href=”http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/app/cipo/trademarks/search/viewTrademark.do;jsessionid=0000w734Ud1CX-ldS_8uy9Us9rN:vjite1ad?language=eng&fileNumber=0902330&extension=0&startingDocumentIndexOnPage=1″>http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/app/cipo/trademarks/s…An official mark should only be used for official federal government wares and services. Which, if M4L isn’t infringing, means that the federal government either funded March for Life or considers it to be carrying out the duties of one of its departments. Any way you look at it it’s all wrong…

    Reply
  11. Amy G

    Hey Eaves, why don’t you file an ATI request? Find out for sure if the government is sponsoring them.

    Reply
  12. Amy G

    Hey Eaves, why don’t you file an ATI request? Find out for sure if the government is sponsoring them.

    Reply
  13. jj

    Hi David
    First, thanks for doing this post, because it was probably what planted the seed in my mind so that when I saw the banner on video a couple of days later, it jumped out at me. I had to give you a belated hat tip — sorry — I hope thats okay.

    It looks like the wordmark was used without permission, probably just an oopsie by whoever made the banner. But as you point out, and many people since then agree, the logo certainly gives the impression that the march has some kind of government backing. So the gov’t needs to say if the logo is there by permission or not… if so, then why?

    Apparently, the Treasury Board has started investigating, so hopefully they’ll be able to tell us one way or another fairly soon.

    Thanks again! Good work!

    Reply
  14. jj

    Hi DavidFirst, thanks for doing this post, because it was probably what planted the seed in my mind so that when I saw the banner on video a couple of days later, it jumped out at me. I had to give you a belated hat tip — sorry — I hope thats okay.It looks like the wordmark was used without permission, probably just an oopsie by whoever made the banner. But as you point out, and many people since then agree, the logo certainly gives the impression that the march has some kind of government backing. So the gov’t needs to say if the logo is there by permission or not… if so, then why?Apparently, the Treasury Board has started investigating, so hopefully they’ll be able to tell us one way or another fairly soon.Thanks again! Good work!

    Reply
  15. Pingback: What a week…

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