OTTAWA, October 24, 2003 ( – Canadian Alliance MP Grant Hill expressed his dismay today at the roadblocks put up by the federal Liberal government to his Private Members Bill C-447, which would have legislated the traditional definition of marriage in Canada for the first time.  It was the Liberal members who denied votability status to Bill C-447 at a meeting of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs on October 9, Hill said.  Hill said, “It became evident very early on that the Liberal strategy on the issue of the definition of marriage was to let the courts write the law. They failed to appeal provincial court decisions to the Supreme Court, and even tried to quietly quash attempts by others to appeal those decisions themselves.  Now, by killing this bill in committee, they’ve put a muzzle on the elected members of the House of Commons.”  The Alliance and the Reform Party had been fighting to make all Private Members Business votable since 1993.  This spring, the House of Commons adopted new rules that made all Private Members Business eligible to be voted upon.  Despite these new rules, C-447 was denied votability status by a Liberal majority vote at the Parliamentary Committee that oversees the process.

The final appeal avenue, a secret ballot by all MPs in the House to decide votability of the bill, required the signatures of 5 MPs representing 4 of the 5 political parties in the House.  Despite Dr. Hills best efforts to get those signatures, he was unable to convince members of either the Bloc Québecois or the NDP to sign on to the appeal of the committee decision.

C-447 can still be debated in the House of Commons, but would stand no chance of becoming law.


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