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Rapid-fire blogging post 2: On Bill C-484

The Unborn Victims of Violence Act – the private members bill by Conservative Party member Jake Epp that is just a incremental way to try and recriminalize abortion in many progressives view, passed 2nd reading 147-133 last night.† Many sites are slamming the fact Dion and several of his MP’s weren’t there, but the fact is even if they were all there and all had voted Nay, the Bill still would have passed – as 28 Liberal’s voted for it.

It now goes to the Justice Committee – where there are 6 Nays and 6 Yeas, and where amendments to it can be proposed.† Interesting thing about Committees that I’ve noticed – usually the Chair of the Committee will only vote to break a tie. In this case, Art Hanger, the Conservative Chair, is a Yea Vote ( a supporter of Bill C-484).

That would mean (if that rule applies here) there† would be a majority of 6-5 Nays in this Committee that could offer multiple amendments to this Bill to take the most odious of the provisions out of it – to the point where it would be unrecognizable from its original form before it got back to 3rd Reading and Final Vote before being sent to the Senate.† I think it might be a good time to start lobbying the Nay members of this Committee to substantially alter this bill.

UPDATE: I just wrote Kady O’Malley of Maclean’s who seems to live at Committee Hearings, and she confirms Chairpersons only vote to break ties.† The Nay’s would definitely have the advantage here at this committee to amend this Bill.

17 comments to Rapid-fire blogging post 2: On Bill C-484

  • Deb Prothero

    scott, thanks for raising the issue.†I thought it was Ken Epp who proposed this rather than Jake who was a Progressive Conservative, since retired. Ken Epp on the other hand, started as a Reformer and an anti-abortion campaigner since the dark ages.Since its a private members bill, what are the chances of it being adopted by the government and actually passing?After reading it, I don’t see how it could be amended to be at all palatable. Its just a wrong-headed notion, in my opinion, to go on all the talk shows and talk about the unfortunate instances of fetal homicide and how important this is and yet to have, on the other hand, †withdrawn all the research dollars and capacity that the Status of Women offices provided in raising awareness about the violence against women. Its about the violence against women that is at the heart of this matter.Ken Epp’s use of Mary Talbot has been unconscionable.The other thing is that PMSH declared on January 17th, 2006 during the election campaign, that "†Harperís Jan. 17 statement, "I’ll use whatever influence I have in Parliament to be sure that such a matter doesn’t come to a vote."†He was referring specifically to this type of matter as he tried to allay fears or lie to them about the nature of his agenda? Does this mean, he has no more influence?Choice is one of the few things that women have won and even that battle is not entirely complete. Also, according to Stats Can, we’re still only making 70% of wages earned by men doing the same work.With the Liberals knowing this was a second reading vote, I expect they already have a plan – maybe this is the very bill they intend to fight the election on. The Liberals who voted in favour of this bill, I’ve come to understand are the Catholic Liberals for the most part and they needed to express this on behalf of their constituents.†So now its time to lobby the committee members to get the amendments necessary.Looking at the legislative agenda, the Tories are proposing some pretty out there and poorly written legislation (the Animal Cruelty thing is just a nightmare). Despite my strong desire to Take Back Canada and kick the CRAP out, I have been doing some serious reading about the bills coming up, I think Dion is much smarter than we have given him credit for. I believe he really does have a plan that involves allowing Harper to bring in these legislative bills that challenge Canadian values and keep bullying people thereby getting everyone in the country upset enough to demand that the Liberals take them out.†Epp has already announced that he won’t be running again in Edmonton maybe his riding is up for grabs!

  • L-star

    They’re not even being subtle: "Unborn Victims of Crime"? Who talks about "the unborn"? Not doctors. Only anti-abortion activists use that term.†I’m a female Conservative and I’m disappointed in my party on this issue. They seem not to realize how serious and close to the heart this issue is for millions of Canadian women.†I was interested to read that in South Carolina, "nearly 100 pregnant women with drug abuse problems have been arrested under its fetal homicide law, even though they had virtually no access to drug treatment programs. Meanwhile, only one man has been arrested for killing a pregnant woman under the South Carolina law." Source: http://www.arcc-cdac.ca/action/unborn-victims-act.htm†So these laws apparently lead to women being clapped in jail, because they set up "a legal conflict between the personhood of the woman and the fetus".

  • a lot of those 20+ MPís would have probably defied it as a matter of conscience.† We have a socially conservative wing in the Liberal Party,† so letís accept that, and As I said to Skdadl, we might as well get over that and concentrate on the committee to get proper amendments before it goes back for 3rd readingÖ as well as look at persuading some of the 20+ Liberals who arenít in the hard-core wing of social conservative views and persuade them to change their vote.

    I intend to, and I’m not going to be nice about it. In fact, I expect I will get quite threatening. As it stands now, I would run a campaign to have them thrown out of office. Is that persuasion enough?

    I have no soft spot for any politician and being a Liberal doesn’t get a politician out of my gunsights if they’ve cast aside their progressive loyalty.

    It’s a sorry day when four CPoC members cast shame on the progressive opposition.

  • Neither are crime and agricultural bills Scott, but that didn’t stop the government from threatening to make them so if it didn’t get its’ way did it?

    If the government decides to make a bill a confidence motion it can do so, the GG doesn’t necessarily have to accept the Prime Ministers request to dissolve Parliament, but that doesn’t mean the vote wouldn’t take place does it? Maybe Dion should bank on the GG asking him to try and form a coalition government instead of calling an election…. it’s a slim hope, but at least it has a spine.

    The LPoC fear of an election means the current minority government can, and has, act like a majority government and nothing will change that until the CPoC detects that not only is the LPoC serious about an election, but that it has a reasonable chance of winning at least a minority position.

    Rank and file Liberals need to either accept that reality (and it appears that many have) or force their leaders hand and try and regain some political respect.

  • Gigi

    Here, let me attack it directly (saying exactly what I have elsewhere):

    If the purpose of the bill was as claimed – protecting pregnant women – then it would have focused on the pregnant women.† Up the charges for the aggravating factor of pregnancy REGARDLESS of what happens to the fetus – if you beat a pregnant woman, it should not matter that the fetus survives or is uninjured.

    Right now it says, "Beat this woman all you like as long as you don’t injure the fetus."† The overwhelming majority of pregnant women who are abused are completely unprotected by this.

  • Stageleft:

    Private members bills aren’t made into matters of confidence.

  • ALW

    Scott – but they can’t get that far. So why do you care what they think?† Honestly, sometimes I think you guys get worked up for no reason at all.

    I have heard nothing attacking C-484, only attacks on what C-484 might lead to.†

  • And just what is to prevent Harper from issuing another "pass this or it’s a confidence matter" ultimatum Scott?

    Will that be the final straw? Is there a final straw?

    The LPoC has shown Canadians time and time again that election worries trump everything; they’d be better off triggering the election they’d lose and then getting on with the leadership change that ultimately follows than continuing the charade and becoming more irrelevant than they currently are.

  • Dave:

    It was seen as a matter of conscience, so there was never going to be a whipped vote. And if there was a whipped vote, a lot of those 20+ MP’s would have probably defied it as a matter of conscience.† We have a socially conservative wing in the Liberal Party,† so let’s accept that, and As I said to Skdadl, we might as well get over that and concentrate on the committee to get proper amendments before it goes back for 3rd reading… as well as look at persuading some of the 20+ Liberals who aren’t in the hard-core wing of social conservative views and persuade them to change their vote.

  • JJ

    Scott -† Thanks for posting this.† The 6/5 will hopefully help this time around, but what about the next time and the next time and the next time… they won’t stop trying, they’re already talking about the "next time".†

    The Conservatives have been allowed to become far too dangerous.† The Opposition needs to grow a pair and get an election happening.† Then we have to work on getting reproductive rights enshrined in the charter in a way that is untouchable.† I am sick unto death of the non-stop encroachment on My Rights, and I really don’t want my niece, or her niece, to have to worry about this crap every 2 years.

    Time to light ’em up.†

  • Many sites are slamming the fact Dion and several of his MPís werenít there, but the fact is even if they were all there and all had voted Nay, the Bill still would have passed – as 28 Liberalís voted for it.

    Now there’s an interesting bend. In fact, it’s an excuse. If it had been a whipped vote those 28 Liberals would have voted party-line.

    Add today’s ridiculous motion and we’re just waiting to have the clowns sent in.

    This bill should have been killed at 2nd reading.

  • Better to stop them in their tracks then let them think it might actually get that far, ALW.

  • ALW

    Yes, yes, panic in the streets and all that.

    Why not think strategically, Scott?† Let them ban abortion.† Then you can utterly and totally annihilate the Tories at the next election – which is precisely what would happen if anyone ever came within a country mile of actually proposing such a thing.

    Oh well, better to continue conjuring up the old yarn that worked so well for you guys in 2000.† And less so in 2004.† And even less so in 2006. Etc etc etc.

  • Justin:

    List of Liberals who supported Bill C-484 is here

  • Skdadl:

    How about we focus on the fact that the Nays outnumber the Yeas at Committee, rather then engage in bitterness over the 2nd reading vote.

  • Oh, wow, Scott. Reading you is like watching a replay of the entire last year in the U.S. Congress.

    Just pretend it isn’t so bad, and maybe it will go away.

    No, Scott. No. It won’t. You want to fight evil, you bloody well get up and fight. Flaccid Liberals. Why don’t you just change the party name to Democrats North and be done with it?

    And eat your vegetables.

  • Liberals voted in favour of this bill?† Who?

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