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Sun Apr 29, 2012, 08:59 PM

Hey iverglas...... What's going on North of the Border?

My body, my business

By Devyn Noonan

Posted 19 hours ago

For those unaware, Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth has introduced a motion to the House of Commons that is essentially intended to reopen the debate on a woman’s right to choose. The prime minister has conveniently distanced himself from the bill, preferring to allow a backbencher candidate to take forward the contentious motion. Jean Chrétien predicted before the last election that the Conservative Party of Canada would begin to mobilize against reproductive rights through a private member’s bill. Canadians did not listen to Chrétien’s prescient warning, and now we’re about to pay the price.

I could go on about the prime minister’s cowardice in refusing to associate with the rising anti-choice movement, which he no doubt supports. I could talk about Minister Jason Kenney’s editorial article that claimed that evil of pro-choice advocates rivaled that of the Ku Klux Klan. I could talk about the appalling fact that it is a male MP bringing this motion forward. To me, however, such discussions don’t get to the heart of this issue: female humanity.


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Response to boston bean (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 09:02 PM

1. Their conservatives are taking over our conservative playbook

which is something I've been warning Canadian friends about for over a decade.

Yes, it can happen there.

It happened here.

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Response to boston bean (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 09:03 PM

2. Hey, like Harper said after the election; "You won't recognize Canada in 4 years". Any


Conservative voters out there having voter remorse yet? If your not, you should be!

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Response to teddy51 (Reply #2)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 09:54 PM

3. There's an awful bunch of us that have a lot of remorse

but we didn't vote for him in the first place. Most people in Canada didn't vote for him. Our system sucks big time.

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Response to arikara (Reply #3)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 10:04 PM

4. I have a bunch of relatives in BC that thought Harper would be ok for at least one term as


a majority Government. Damn, are they having second thoughts now. I realize that the Liberals did not put up much of a candidate with Michael Ignatieff and it's very sad that Jack Layton passed, but Harper? Crap, what an awful choice.

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Response to arikara (Reply #3)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 10:05 PM

5. Oh, and obviously most people did vote for him or he would not have a majority Govt. n/t


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Response to teddy51 (Reply #5)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 10:15 PM

6. He got a majority gov't with 37%

That is not most people no matter how you shape it.

And it looks like he managed that by cheating.

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Response to arikara (Reply #6)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 10:43 PM

7. "And it looks like he managed that by cheating." Yep, and that's what Republicans/Conservatives


are best at.

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Response to teddy51 (Reply #5)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 11:47 PM

9. sigh


Just under 40% of the 62% of the electorate who voted, voted Conservative.

Most people did NOT vote Conservative, in fact. (Nobody voted for Harper except the voters in his own riding; this is a parliamentary system in which the party with the majority of seats, or the single largest group where there is no majority, selects the prime minister.)

There may have been some fairly widespread electoral fraud: telephone callse to identified non-Conservative voters informing them of a change of polling place to a nonexistent location. What effect it may have had on the outcome in any given riding is a long way from being determined. It is appalling on principle, of course.

A first past the post system, especially in a multi-party system, can give a party a plurality of the votes in a majority of constituencies in the country, and thus a "majoriy government" with a minority of the popular vote. Most western countries (the US excluded, of course) have adjusted their systems to include some form of proportional representation, and that is very much needed in Canada.

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Response to boston bean (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 11:41 PM

8. I'd actually been meaning to post about this on the weekend


It isn't going anywhere, so nobody needs to fret.

There are assholes on the backbenches of the Conservative Party (and not just there) and every once in a while they do their asshole thing. Gary Breitkreutz MP was the usual source for these things (along with being MP for our domestic gun militants).

And I do wish people in the US would stop taking credit for what goes on in Canada.

For info:


That a special committee of the House be appointed and directed to review the declaration in Subsection 223(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada which states that a child becomes a human being only at the moment of complete birth and to answer the questions hereinafter set forth;

that the membership of the special committee consist of twelve members which shall include seven members from the government party, four members from the Official Opposition and one member from the Liberal Party, provided that the Chair shall be from the government party; that the members to serve on the said committee be appointed by the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs and the membership report of the special committee be presented to the House no later than 20 sitting days after the adoption of this motion;

that substitutions to the membership of the special committee be allowed, if required, in the manner provided by Standing Order 114(2);

that the special committee have all the powers of a Standing Committee as provided in the Standing Orders; and

that the special committee present its final report to the House of Commons within 10 months after the adoption of this motion with answers to the following questions,

(i) what medical evidence exists to demonstrate that a child is or is not a human being before the moment of complete birth?,

(ii) is the preponderance of medical evidence consistent with the declaration in Subsection 223(1) that a child is only a human being at the moment of complete birth?,

(iii) what are the legal impact and consequences of Subsection 223(1) on the fundamental human rights of a child before the moment of complete birth?,

(iv) what are the options available to Parliament in the exercise of its legislative authority in accordance with the Constitution and decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada to affirm, amend, or replace Subsection 223(1)?

And here's what the Code says:



222. (1) A person commits homicide when, directly or indirectly, by any means, he causes the death of a human being. ...

When child becomes human being

223. (1) A child becomes a human being within the meaning of this Act when it has completely proceeded, in a living state, from the body of its mother, whether or not

(a) it has breathed;

(b) it has an independent circulation; or

(c) the navel string is severed.
Killing child

(2) A person commits homicide when he causes injury to a child before or during its birth as a result of which the child dies after becoming a human being.

All very sensible and highly unlikely to be getting changed.

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Response to boston bean (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 07:36 AM

10. a view from the right-wing media ;)



Den Tandt: Canada’s socially progressive values now stretch from coast to coast
By Michael Den Tandt, Postmedia News April 29, 2012

... The big news, which will never make a bold headline, is just this: Across this country, from coast to coast to coast, there is now a nearly unanimous view that the old, divisive, angry debates about matters of individual faith and morals are over. And we’re not going back there. Not any time soon, probably not ever.

Discrimination based on race and gender and sexual orientation are history, too, for the most part. There are still racists, homophobes and gender-haters in Canada, of course. And there are aberrations (Afro-centric schools in Toronto, for example). But the shared expectation of equality under the law for all, is now so firmly embedded as to be foundational. This is something interesting, unique — and new.

... In Parliament last week, Conservative backbench MP Stephen Woodworth caused a furor with a motion to strike a committee to consider when a human life, for purposes of the Criminal Code, begins. If life is determined to begin before birth, of course, then abortion de facto becomes illegal.

Woodworth’s motion has no chance of success: All four major federal parties are united against him. And this is the truly astonishing thing: Both Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Gordon O’Connor, the Conservative whip, denounced his motion.

“Society has moved on and I don’t believe this proposal should proceed,” O’Connor said. “As well, it is in opposition to our government’s position.”

Do read the whole thing, for those interested in the Canadian perspective. That really is the way things are here.

Right-wing assholes may pay lip service only because they know doing otherwise is a sure road to defeat. But it's the fact that it's the sure road to defeat that's important.

You just don't win elections in Canada by attacking reproductive rights, same-sex marriage or immigration.

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Response to boston bean (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 03:02 PM

11. since this is History of Feminism, after all


Somebody might be interested in the recent history of abortion law in Canada. It's inextricably tied up with Dr. Henry Morgentaler, so he provides a good primer:



The Transformational Canadians program celebrates 25 living citizens who have made a difference by immeasurably improving the lives of others. Readers were invited to nominate Canadians who fit this description. Over several weeks, a panel of six judges will select 25 Transformational Canadians from among the nominees.

... Henry Morgentaler, long-time abortion activist, has been selected as one of 25 Transformational Canadians.

In Canada, a woman can have an abortion without fear of prosecution or imprisonment – for the simple reason that there is no abortion law. For more than 20 years, that state of affairs has set us apart from the rest of the developed world. Canadian women enjoy the right to safe and legal abortions largely because Henry Morgentaler fought a long battle on their behalf.

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