MP Mark Warawa Register file photo

Warawa now fighting for MPs’ rights

  • April 10, 2013

OTTAWA - Conservative MP Mark Warawa has added a new cause to his campaign against female gendercide — the right of Members of Parliament to represent their constituents.

Warawa has taken up the cause of freedom for MPs to put forward private members’ business or to make statements in the House of Commons prior to Question Period without having their material vetted by party leadership.

And he’s not finished fighting against the practice of sex-selective abortion, or gendercide, even though his Motion-408 asking the House of Commons to condemn the practice that sees female fetuses aborted for the sole reason that they are female has been quashed by both a sub-committee on private member’s business and on appeal to the House procedure and house affairs committee.

“The goal of Motion-408 was to raise awareness of the issue,” said Warawa. “Ironically those that wanted to try to squash any discussion on this issue have done more than I could have imagined to raise awareness. Now they’ve raised another issue, the rights of Members of Parliament to represent their communities.”

Meanwhile, the pro-life MP says he remains loyal to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and says “it’s fine in the (Tory) caucus.”

“I’m very thankful to be part of a Conservative caucus,” he said. “I believe we have the strongest, most democratic policies of any parties. Hopefully we can resolve these two very important issues.”

Warawa has a decision to make about his gendercide motion that he expects to make later in April. Among his options: he could put forward another motion or bill, or appeal to the House of Commons. An appeal would be an historical move that would see MPs voting on whether Motion-408 should be votable by secret ballot.

He is also awaiting a decision from the Speaker of the House after he complained on a point of privilege that he was not allowed to speak on his motion in late March during the time allotted for MPs’ statements before Question Period.

Meanwhile, Warawa is consulting constituents and people from across Canada on both gendercide and MPs’ democratic rights.

“I have had overwhelming support on both issues,” he said.

The subcommittee on private members’ business has one member from each party, he said. But the committee ignored the advice of the analyst from the Library of Parliament who said Motion-408 should be votable.

“This was not any one party, this was all the parties working together to deem Motion-408 not votable,” he said. “I was very disappointed what happened.

“One would have to ask why they have done that. It raises another issue: is Parliament going to respect the rules of Parliament and is Parliament going to respect the vast majority of Canadians who want this dealt with.”

He cited a 2011 survey that showed 92 per cent of Canadians opposed sex-selective pregnancy termination. After the CBC ran a documentary last June showing that ultra-sound clinics were telling parents the sex of their unborn baby so they could abort girls, all party leaders condemned the practice. Warawa thought his motion, which does not call for any law, only the moral force of Parliament to send a message, would have been passed unanimously.

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