OTTAWA, March 28, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Tory MP Mark Warawa will now be forced to make an historic appeal to the House of Commons after a parliamentary committee dismissed his appeal this morning over the decision to declare his motion on gendercide non-voteable.
Motion 408 was deemed non-voteable on Thursday by the Subcommittee on Private Members’ Business. In response, Warawa appealed to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs (PROC) on Wednesday afternoon. On Thursday, PROC’s chair Joe Preston announced that they had concurred with the subcommittee.
Warawa’s last recourse is an appeal to the House of Commons, which will hold a secret ballot on whether his motion is voteable or not. He has five days to file the appeal and must have the support of 5 MPs from two official parties.
He had already declared his intention to appeal if it came to it, and says he has more than enough MPs behind him to do so. He would be the first MP in Canadian history to file such an appeal.
Warawa told CBC after Preston announced PROC's decision that he is “very disappointed” but would not decide about the appeal for a few days. “My grandmother says 'haste makes waste.' I do not want to make another rash, quick, kneejerk decision today,” he said.
If he decides not to appeal, he has option of proposing another motion or bill.
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Campaign Life Coalition said they were appalled by PROC's decision, calling the subcommittee's original ruling “anti-democratic.”
“This outrageous move is a clear attack on the rights of private members and sets a precedent that will have a negative impact on all future private members’ business,” they stated.
“The decision to crush M-408 is proof that Harper will go to any extreme to distance himself from any reference to abortion, even if that means compromising on democracy,” said Jim Hughes, CLC's President. “Mark Warawa is to be praised for his courage in standing up for private members rights and for his commitment to condemning the lethal discrimination of women and girls.”
“Our government’s refusal to even have a discussion on condemning the discrimination against girls is disgraceful,” said Mary Ellen Douglas, National Organizer for Campaign Life Coalition. “Canada stands with China and India, countries with widespread gendercide, as the most dangerous place for pre-born girls in the world.”
The decision at the subcommittee came from a joint effort by the Conservatives, New Democrats, and Liberals, despite the testimony of an analyst who said the motion met all of the criteria.
Warawa has accused the subcommittee members of “disregard[ing] the rules of Parliament” and numerous Conservative MPs and political pundits have decried the decision as a threat to democracy.
The non-binding motion states: “That the House condemns discrimination against females occurring through sex-selective pregnancy termination.”
The motion’s fate will now be left up to individual Members of Parliament.