and now back to reality: c-484 passes second reading (updated)

Coffee break's over, everybody back on your heads.

As you probably already know, C-484, the fetal protection act, passed its second reading yesterday. The final vote was 147-133. The bill now goes to the House Justice and Legal Affairs Committee.

Canadians who believe in choice and bodily integrity are furious that key NDP and Liberal MPs - including St├ęphane Dion - didn't bother to show up for the vote, or voted in favour.

The Rabble forum link above contains a list of Liberals who voted for the bill. I see my own Mississauga MP made that shameful list, the only female Liberal to vote yay. No wonder she never answered my letter.

If you search for information about C-484 online, only bloggers and activist organizations are writing about this. I don't see a single mention in any mainstream media.


Liberals who voted yes:

Raymond Bonin 613.995.9107

John Cannis 613.992.6823

Hon. Raymond Chan 613.995.2021

Hon. Roy Cullen 613.995.4702

Sukh Dhaliwal 613.992.0666

Hon. Albina Guarnieri 613.996.0420

Hon. Charles Hubbard 613.992.5335

Hon. Jim Karygiannis 613.992.4501

Derek Lee 613.996.9681

Hon. Lawrence MacAulay 613.995.9325

Hon. Gurbax Malhi 613.992.9105

Hon. John McKay 613.992.1447

Hon. Joe McGuire 613.992.9223

Hon. Dan McTeague 613.995.8082

Hon. Shawn Murphy 613.996.4714

Massimo Pacetti 613.995.9414

Francis Scarpaleggia 613.995.8281

Hon. Raymond Simard 613.995.0579

Lloyd St. Amand 613.992.3118

Paul Steckle 613.992.8234

Paul Szabo 613.992.4848

Hon. Robert Thibault 613.995.5711

Alan Tonks 613.995.0777

Roger Valley 613.996.1161

Tom Wappel 613.995.0284

Borys Wrzesnewskyj 613.947.5000

Absent: Dion, Bryon Wilfert, Volpe, Nancy Karetak-Lindell, Mark Eyking, Ujjal Dosanjh (although present for other votes), Denis Coderre, Brenda Chamberlain, Gerry Byrne, Paul Zed. [Note: list has been corrected.]

This member of the NDP voted for the bill: Peter Stoffer. This was clearly not a whipped vote, and it should have been.

Thank you to people in Rabble.ca's forums for this info.


redsock said...

There was a tiny wire service mention in the Globe and Mail today -- very easy to miss. Plus they said it was the first reading.

L-girl said...

Yes, it appears to be non-news for the MSM.

L-girl said...

If anybody would like to explain to us new Canadians what happens next (for this bill or any other), I'd greatly appreciate it.

I'm a bit confused. C-484 now goes to committee. Does it go for another full vote before the HoC, or this was it? Can it be killed in committee? Is the committee decision binding?

Re our war resisters resolution that the committee vote was not binding, it was more like a recommendation. But in that case, the committee vote was before the HoC vote (which hasn't happened yet). In this case it's after.

Please explain!

Lone Primate said...

I found this brief overview from the government...

L-girl said...

Thanks, LP. I guess I should have done that myself.

From the link posted by Lone Primate:

First reading in either the Senate or the House of Commons. Bill is printed.

Second reading in the same House of Parliament. Members debate and vote on the principle of the bill. The House may decide to refer the bill to a legislative, standing or a special committee, or to Committee of the Whole.

Consideration by the appropriate parliamentary committee (clause-by-clause study of the bill). Committee can summon witnesses and experts to provide it with information and help in improving the bill.

Committee reports the bill to the House clearly indicating any amendments proposed. House considers amendments and votes for or against them.

Debate and vote on bill as amended.

NOTE: Once bill has been read 3 times in the House, it is sent to the Senate for its consideration.


Is the Senate more of a rubber-stamp, or can they veto it?

Right now, for example, certain Senators are promising to amend C-10 to ensure artistic freedom. Does the Senate often put in substantial amendments? Can they kill a bill altogether?

Sarah O. said...

Don't forget the lone NDP member who voted for the bill - my very own MP, Peter Stoffer. Email asking for explanation and withdrawing my support for him duly sent. Also sent an email to Layton, asking when he's going to publicly censure Stoffer's vote.

L-girl said...

Sarah O, thank you, I meant to mention him specifically. I'm a bit unfocused at the moment, doing too many things at once. So thanks for the reminder.

Good job on the emails.

L-girl said...

That link doesn't work, btw. Here is a link to Peter Stoffer's website.

Sarah O. said...

Sorry - I was trying to links to matttbastard's post on bastard.logic. Must not have closed the brackets.

L-girl said...

No problem: here it is.

lisa said...

As far as I understand it, all bills must be passed by both chambers of government to become law, so the Senate technically has the authority to block legislation passed in the House (sober second thought), but in practice rarely does so. One interesting exception : they blocked a bill introduced by Mulroney in the 1990s that would have recriminalized abortion, though I think they did that mainly because they thought that the law would have eventually been struck down by the Supreme Court anyway, as the previous law on abortion was a few years earlier.

This site seems informative

I'm glad that you're blogging about this bill - it creeps the hell out of me (all this unborn child and "mother" terminology). I seriously hope, that after consideration in committee, it doesn't get past the third reading. I don't understand the NDP's silence on this at all. Wtf is going on in Ottawa these days!! It's really just bizarre

Eeek, the reduced funding to the Court Challenges program, the cancellation of a national daycare program, reduced funding to the Status of Women - this gov't is sending out alarming signals about its commitment to women's equality. I hate to admit it, but I've missed many of the IWD marches in the last five years or so, but I think this is one year that I'm definitely going to have to attend! Except that I have to work!!! Sigh.

L-girl said...

Thank you, Lisa. It is appalling and alarming.


I wish so much I could go to the IWD march in Toronto, especially since I finally know women in the movement here. (Several war resister campaigners have deep roots in the repro-rights movement.)

But I've taken too much time off for peace and/or war resister stuff already. I just can't.

I can't go to any peace demos on March 15 either for the same reason. (More on those soon.)

That's what it is to work weekends. We just have to tell ourselves: we each do what we can...

L-girl said...

And hey, thanks for that link! I'm definitely unclear about the Senate's role. I'll save the page to read later.

lisa said...

Oh, yes, and the Rabble forums are...really interesting. I visit every now and then, and generally discover perspectives and/or facts that broaden my understanding of a subject. Facts that you just don't get in the mainstream media. It's also a great way of feeling like you're not completely crazy...there are others out there who share similar analyses and therefore outrage about oh, say, our being in Afghanistan, for example. It is such a breath of fresh air (if somewhat ideological air :))

Scott M. said...

Just for clarification, first reading happens without a vote. The first vote happens at Second Reading, and that vote is generally accepted as the vote where it's decided if the bill is worth looking into, etc.

Bills can bypass the committee stage, though this one is not.

This will die in committee in all likelihood.

L-girl said...

Thanks for the clarification, Scott.

This will die in committee in all likelihood.

What are you basing that on?

Sarah O. said...

Just wanted to let you know I spoke to my MP, Peter Stoffer this afternoon. He explained why he voted for this bill, and said that his vote was consistent with his approach to private members bills (This is true - he has 38 on the go right now, for instance). However, I still strongly believe he should have made an exception to such an incendiary piece of legislation.

Stoffer puts a lot of emphasis on private members bills, and likes to send as many to committee as possible. To paraphrase to the best of my memory, he said he was aware of the concerns about this bill, and expects the committee to address these concerns, by either letting it die in committee or amending the heck out of it. And he also emphatically assured me he is pro-choice, and will continue to be.

L-girl said...

Sarah, thank you for the update. It's reassuring to an extent, but also scary. Should a stance on private member's bills be more important than reproductive rights? Obviously this MP doesn't feel the two are at odds, but it makes me queasy.

Why does he feel so strongly about private member's bills?

Also, any American reading this, can you imagine chatting personally with your Congressperson after a vote???

janfromthebruce said...

Hi Ladies, my own very right wing LIBERAL MP, who would be more right wing than most Conservatives (and would be more comfortable in the Harper con party) of course voted yes - Paul Steckle. No surprise there, he voted against gay union, any pro choice, and once advocated whipping and lashes like in Singapore.
But the mindless in Huron-County kept voting him in because like he's a liberal which means "progressive" right????
Well just in elections, after that, it neo-liberal policies for all.

L-girl said...

Hi JanfromtheBruce, welcome to wmtc! We're not just ladies here. Lots of men read wmtc too. But us grrls who don't like to be ladies. :)

Scott M. said...

Scott: This will die in committee in all likelihood.

Laura: What are you basing that on?

Private Members Bills almost always die in committee or in report stage, just due to the nature of the bills. It's a *really* unusual event to have one go through.

If it has the support of the house, the government will usually make an agreement to present it as a government bill.

I'll only get concerned if the committee actually addresses it (as opposed to the normal process of never putting it on their agenda) and doesn't gut it.

Scott M. said...

BTW, only about 3% of private members bills acutally make it to the senate, and only about 1% of private members bills get out of the senate.

L-girl said...

Private Members Bills almost always die in committee or in report stage, just due to the nature of the bills. It's a *really* unusual event to have one go through.

This is originally why I thought the bill had little chance of becoming law. But people in the movement here suggested I wasn't taking it seriously enough. (And of course I think it's good to expose these kinds of sneak attacks on choice, no matter what their chances of passage.)

So this is comforting.

BTW, only about 3% of private members bills acutally make it to the senate, and only about 1% of private members bills get out of the senate.

I like the odds. :)

But I do think the exposure and debate was illuminating. Including who voted yes.

Anonymous said...

CBC Radio's "The Current" featured interviews, pro and con, on this issue. The piece is available for download.

L-girl said...

CBC Radio's "The Current" featured interviews, pro and con, on this issue

Yes, Carolyn Egan took on Ken Epp *and* Mary Talbot this time. Like here, but even moreso. Carolyn is amazing.

However, when I said this wasn't covered by any MSM, I meant that there was barely a mention that the 2nd reading had passed.

BlueBerry Pick'n said...

I cried when I understood what had happened.

but in the days before the vote?... what really put me out? is that when I wrote the Green Party? couldn't get a REPLY.

when I wrote the NDP, I got a bullshit reply that the law wouldn't impact women. that I didn't understand Law. that the entire VOTE wouldn't even pass

basically, I was poo-poo'd as a silly woman getting all riled up...

*FUCK* I am starting to hate Americanization of Canada... & starting to truly despise the SHEER PROPAGANIZED & WILLFUL STUPIDITY of my fellow Canadians.

Spread Love...

BlueBerry Pick'n
can be found @
"We, two, form a Multitude" ~ Ovid.
"Silent Freedom is Freedom Silenced"

L-girl said...

This is no more the Americanization of Canada than same-sex marriage will be the Canadianization of the US. Whether we like it or not, there are Canadians who oppose abortion rights.

Every bad thing that happens in Canada is not imported from the US. Canada has a home-grown anti-abortion-rights movement of its own.


BlueBerry Pick'n, your comments are very welcome here, but could you please not use a long signature line? You can sign in with your own website so people will know where to find you. Thank you very much in advance.