Layton, May, Cowan and Mitchell must want abortion made illegal then….

- November 20th, 2010

Liberal Senate Leader James Cowan is worried about "Unaccountable, unelected" Senators.

Judging by the comments of our opposition politicians this week, they mostly seem to support the idea that Canada should have a law that would make abortion illegal unless the mother’s health is at risk.

That has to be the logical conclusion of all the bluster from their statements over the Senate – the unelected and undemocratic Senate – killing a bill Parliament had passed.

Of course this week the fury is not over the death of bill C-43, voted down after a tie vote in the Senate in 1990 but rather the death of bill C-311. This bill was designed to layout a climate change plan for Canada and had been passed through the House of Commons before the Senate killed it on Tuesday in a 43-32 vote.

Here’s the reaction to the climate bills death:

“Honourable senators, this unprecedented action of the unaccountable, unelected Conservative majority in this place was shameful,” Liberal Senate Leader James Cowan said in the Upper Chamber.

“This was one of the most undemocratic acts that we have ever seen in the Parliament of Canada,” NDP Leader Jack Layton said.

“That Conservative unelected Senate voted to defeat Bill 311 on climate change, one of the most important issues that was facing this country,” the unelected Liberal Senator Grant Mitchell.

“The Stephen Harper-controlled Senate delivered a brutal blow to climate action — and democracy itself — this week when it killed the Climate Change Accountability Act,” Green Party Leader Elizabeth May wrote in an op-ed.

Truly a group of Parliamentarians who want to see the Senate pass legislation deemed worthy of the House must wish to correct the error of the Senate voting down C-43 back in 1990.

C-43 was designed as a response to the Supreme Court’s Morgentaller decision and would have allowed abortion to be more easily accessible than the previous law the court had struck down but still kept some restrictions. Pro-abortion advocates claimed any restriction was too much and anti-abortion advocates claimed the restrictions did not go far enough. The two sides worked together to defeat the bill in the Senate.

Based on what our leaders say today, bill C-43 should be law.

How about this deal, we declare both of them passed. Would that make Layton, Cowan, Mitchell and May happy?

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4 comments

  1. Darrell says:

    Wow, a Correspondent who actually does research, good column.

  2. Geoff from Kingston says:

    I think this is evidence of a flip-flop, and now we will get the Senate reform originally proposed by Harper. If Layton and crowd want the problem fixed, then let’s fix the Senate. I find the stretch to the abortion decision a bit of a reach. What Brian has written is true though.

  3. heather says:

    You’re missing the key difference here. Bill C-43 was STUDIED by the Senate before they defeated it (based on evidence given in committee). C-311 didn’t even get DEBATED by Conservative senators, let alone sent to committee to be studied. You’re comparing apples and oranges in what seems an attempt to justify Harper’s flip-flop on the role of the Senate. Looking for your own appointment?

  4. brian.lilley says:

    Not really missing any difference Heather. How many people that denounced the Senate’s “undemocratic” actions made that distinction? Does it really matter when they killed it? These folks are claiming the Senate should never kill bills except when they want them killed. The Conservatives claim the same. Hypocrisy is not the domain of just one party.

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