Bill C484 Who voted yay and what is going to be done

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You're right, I don't use the TAT often but I will.

Carry on.

[ 06 March 2008: Message edited by: mary123 ]

remind remind's picture

Oh thanks, I guess I just assumed that all people use TAT and all active threads that are important happen there every minute of every day.


It's worth noting that 3 of the Yays had been elected as Liberals before they crossed the floor (Comuzzi, Emerson, and Khan).

I must say I'm disgusted with the vote, but I don't get why so many posters think the NDP is the big villain here. All their members showed up and voted. They are an avowedly pro-choice party, have been for years even when it cost them big-time, and, like, less than 4% of their voting strength voted for this private member's bill (which, strictly speaking, are not *supposed* to be whipped votes).

Meantime you have a party whose entire election campaign was based on "vote for us to stop Harper from doing all those awful things to women", and when the time comes, they're off at a cocktail party and their whip (a woman) forgot to count her votes.

Instead of circling the wagons and shooting inside, it's probably more effective at this stage to go after the folks who didn't show up to vote, and ask them to make sure they're on hand to be counted for third reading.

Just one person's opinion.



Originally posted by ottawaobserver:
[b]I must say I'm disgusted with the vote, but I don't get why so many posters think the NDP is the big villain here. All their members showed up and voted. [/b]

The NDP are not the villain. We expect much more from them than just showing up and voting, because they don't have enough votes to make a difference. We want to hear their voice, see their firm stand, feel their determination - we want leadership from them.

If we don't exhort and encourage them to play that role, who will?

audra trower wi...

Nothing more than a list of Liberal yeas and absents.

audra trower wi...

Peter Stoffer was in there, too.

martin dufresne

From the Star blog, here is how scumbucket Jake Epp, MP, a long-time anti-choice campaigner, denies to reporters his C-484 bill having ANYTHING to do with abortion:


For the record, the bill's sponsor, Conservative MP Ken Epp, says adamantly that this bill has nothing to do with abortion. Here's a snippet of his conversation with reporters yesterday.

Epp: "Well I, I really believe that C-484 is very important because it addresses specifically the case where a mother has chosen to have a child. This has nothing to do with abortion, it is explicitly excluded. It has to do with where the mother has chosen to not have an abortion. And when a pregnant woman is expecting her baby, that is probably the thing that she wants to protect the most and she has currently in our law no legal protection whatsoever. So my bill very narrowly focuses on the woman who has chosen to have her child and where that choice has been unilaterally taken away from her... with somebody who had attacked her because that's the only way you can get to a, to an unborn child. But he takes away what she values at that stage in her life the very absolute most."

Aaaaaww... [img]rolleyes.gif" border="0[/img]



Originally posted by audra trower williams:
[b]Is this just the NON Tories who voted yay or were absent?[/b]

I believe so, yes. Liberals and NDP.

Were any of the Bloc absent? I don't think any of them voted yea, but I don't know whether any of them were no-shows.


Here is the breakdown of the vote:

YEA - 147, NAY - 132, PAIRED - 4, NOT VOTING - 20
[NOT VOTING includes the Speaker and Deputy Speakers, as well as people who missed the vote.]

[b]By Gender[/b]
Female: YEA - 12, NAY - 46, PAIRED - 2, NOT VOTING - 4
Male: YEA - 135, NAY - 86, PAIRED - 2, NOT VOTING - 16

[b]By Party[/b]
Conservatives: YEA - 118, NAY - 4, PAIRED - 2, NOT VOTING - 2
Liberals: YEA - 27, NAY - 54, PAIRED - 0, NOT VOTING - 13
BQ: YEA - 0, NAY - 47, PAIRED - 2, NOT VOTING - 0
NDP: YEA - 1, NAY - 25, PAIRED - 0, NOT VOTING - 4
Independents: YEA - 1, NAY - 2, PAIRED - 0, NOT VOTING - 1

[b]By Province[/b]
Alberta: YEA - 28, NAY - 0, PAIRED - 0, NOT VOTING - 0
BC: YEA - 20, NAY - 12, PAIRED - 0, NOT VOTING - 3
Manitoba: YEA - 7, NAY - 4, PAIRED - 2, NOT VOTING - 1
New Brunswick: YEA - 4, NAY - 5, PAIRED - 0, NOT VOTING - 1
Nfld and Lab: YEA - 3, NAY - 3, PAIRED - 0, NOT VOTING - 1
Nova Scotia: YEA - 4, NAY - 5, PAIRED - 0, NOT VOTING - 2
Ontario: YEA - 56, NAY - 41, PAIRED - 0, NOT VOTING - 7
PEI: YEA - 3, NAY - 1, PAIRED - 0, NOT VOTING - 0
Quebec: YEA - 10, NAY - 58, PAIRED - 2, NOT VOTING - 4
Saskatchewan: YEA - 12, NAY - 1, PAIRED - 0, NOT VOTING - 0
Territories: YEA - 0, NAY - 2, PAIRED - 0, NOT VOTING - 1

[b]By Cabinet[/b]
Cabinet: YEA - 25, NAY - 3, PAIRED - 0, NOT VOTING - 2


Well done Quйbec and Territories.

[ 07 March 2008: Message edited by: unionist ]

remind remind's picture

Bloc MP Roger Gaudet was not present, nor was Francine Lalonde but all the rest were, and they voted nay.

remind remind's picture


Antonia Zerbisias

It should not be lost on anybody that the party with the fewest number of women MPs in the House of Commons voted overwhelmingly in favour of Bill C-484 on Wednesday.

It passed 147-133, with one lone woman Opposition MP – Liberal member Albina Guarnieri – voting yea. Even the Bloc Quйbйcois' Raymond Gravel, a Roman Catholic priest, rejected it.

Epp and his supporters claim no such thing would happen if Bill C-484 is passed. That this is not aimed at eliminating women's right to control their own bodies. They say that the bill, as currently worded, protects abortion rights.

But, experts say, those protections can easily be struck down by the courts.


remind remind's picture

A response to Antonia says:


Your article shows how stupid you are. Women kill more of their own unborn children than men kill women. That is why we need legislation to protect unborn children from their mothers.


martin dufresne

Wannabe reassuring feedback from Status of Women critic Maria Minna, M.P. (Lib.):


Dear Mr. Dufresne,

I would like to assure you that I share your concerns 100% in regard to Bill C-484 and I will do everything I can to ensure it does not make it through its third reading in Parliament. Although I am highly sceptical that this Bill will successfully make it through the Standing Committee on Justice, I can assure you that I will be persuading all of my colleagues to vote against this Bill in the future. Because the language of the Bill was misleading, not all Members fully understood the implications the Bill would have on women's rights. I have already spoken with two Members who had voted in favour of the Bill, and they have now agreed to vote against it at the next reading.

In regard to why this Bill was not a whipped vote, Canada has a tradition of not making Private Member's Bill's (such as Ken Epps' Bill C-484) whipped votes because confidence in government is not an issue.

It should also be noted that because this Bill was a free vote, senior members of the Conservative caucus were able to vote on their conscience against it.

Again, I would like to reiterate that I am deeply concerned about the affects of this Bill on women's rights. If you provide me with your phone number, I would be happy to discuss this with your further.


Hon. Maria Minna, M.P.
Beaches-East York


Wow, that's a great response, actually, Martin.

The NDP haven't bothered to get back to me yet. No surprise there; they never have the few times I've written them in the past, either.

[ 07 March 2008: Message edited by: Michelle ]

remind remind's picture

NSFW link below, and there are many angry blogs out there like Dave's at TGB, and I would like to thank personally all the supportive men out there who take seriously women's equality rights.


h/t's for this and the above 2 links to BnR

remind remind's picture

Michelle, I find that so weird, I always get responses, either emails or phone calls, though admittedly, apparently Stoffer's call to me last week meant SFA.


Well, I use their feedback form on their web site. Maybe that's my mistake.

Anyhow, it doesn't matter. I'm not foolish enough to imagine that they give a damn what I think anyhow. [img]wink.gif" border="0[/img]

remind remind's picture

Well, I have to disagree, I believe they do, even recently there have been changes made to NDP actions resulting from feedback.

For example, on one particular recent issue, I got a call and I spoke for over an hour with an NDP MP, and they extended the time frame to that not me.

However, I am seriously fucking pissed at Stoffer, calling me while on the way into the house, and then standing an voting yea.


Wow. Do you donate money to them or something? [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img] (Maybe that's what I've been doing wrong!)

Also, I'm not a member of the NDP anymore, so that might have something to do with it too. I think the first time I wrote to them, my membership had just lapsed a few months before and I hadn't renewed yet. I think it was over Pat Martin calling NDP Muslims loony-left Jew-haters. I never heard back, nothing ever happened to sanction Martin for it, so I didn't bother renewing.

And my decision not to renew has been confirmed on a somewhat regular basis ever since. (Courting homophobic "star candidates", letting Desjarlais get away with voting against marriage equality with only a little slap on the wrist, support for forcing Muslim women to unveil at voting booths, supporting mandatory minimum sentencing, supporting a regressive crime bill, supporting Canada pulling out from attending the Durban anti-racism conference...)

So they really don't owe me anything, and I'm not surprised that they haven't bothered responding the two or three times I've written to them over the past few years.

[ 07 March 2008: Message edited by: Michelle ]

choice joyce

Thanks Martin for posting the letter from Maria Minna. Of course, ARCC-CDAC had sent out alerts about the bill to [b]all[/b] MP's, so techncially speaking, those misled Liberals had no excuse. But I guess it's hard to read all that mail...

[ 07 March 2008: Message edited by: choice joyce ]

martin dufresne

My response to Liberal Status of Women critic Maria Minna, MP

[email][email protected][/email]
Ms. Minna,

Thank you for your response; I can hear your concern.

But I must say that I am not as confident as you are that C-484 will be stopped in committee. Six of the 12 standing committee members, including
arch-conservative Art Hanger, voted in favour of C-484 (list of names).

I don't think there is anything *forbidding* parties to have a whipped vote on a private member's bill or for your leader to take a strong stand in favour of women's rights - something beyond passing out tiny pink canapйs and burgers at Stornoway! ([url=]Stand on Bill C-484 casts pall on (otherwise elegant) party[/url])

If there is a tradition to avoid such whipped votes, it is clearly time to break it, especially if you are right in thinking that Liberal YEA-sayers are essentially unaware of the danger involved, rather than voting with their conscience on an issue where they hate women's rights.

Until that fateful 3rd reading vote, the Liberals will be perceived - and I will see to that - as having dropped the ball in a major way, with 27 of your MPs voting with all but 4 of the Conservatives on this crucial issue. When so many Grits are voting more conservatively than Minister Verner, I think you have a problem, and the Liberal Party's edge in Canadian and Quebecois women's voting intentions is about to fizzle big time...

Martin Dufresne

[ 07 March 2008: Message edited by: martin dufresne ]

remind remind's picture


Originally posted by Michelle:
[b]Wow. Do you donate money to them or something? [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img] (Maybe that's what I've been doing wrong!)[qb]



[qb]ot a member of the NDP anymore, so that might have something to do with it too. [/b]

Nope, not a member.

However, I have worked for the NDP federally and provincially every election that I have been able to since coming of age. And I believe my parents were signatures to both the Regina and Winnipeg Manifestos. [img]wink.gif" border="0[/img]

martin dufresne

I am starting to work on my pink hamburger costume (think fat tutu) for Dion's next visit to Montreal.
We too know how to throw a Party and the Grits are about to find out how far...


I think people should pelt him with pink sponge cake. [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]



I'm not surprised that they haven't bothered responding the two or three times I've written to them over the past few years.

Michelle, who do you write to? I'm wondering if the difference between you and those who do get a response is just the difference in how different MPs handle their jobs.

Do you write to your MP? To the Leader's Office? To the Party office? I think the response rate would definitely be different, depending on where your letter goes.

(I just remembered that you said you use "feedback" through the website. Yeah, I doubt that would be effective.)

martin dufresne

[b]Stйphane "Pink Buns" Dion[/b] is quoted in Friday morning's Le Devoir*** about his MPs' vote on C-484:


(...)Il se rйjouit que le vote n'avait pour but que d'envoyer le projet de loi en comitй. «Si c'йtait un vote plus dйterminant qui affecterait directement la population canadienne, on regarderait cela de plus prиs.»(...)

(Translation: "Dion rejoices that the vote was merely about referring the Bill to a Parliamentary committee. 'Were this a more determining vote [b]directly affecting the Canadian population[/b], we would look into it a little closer.'(. . .)")
***[url=]Les pro-vie crient victoire[/url] - Le Devoir article


Yeah, probably not the most effective way of dealing with the Party, huh? But I don't have an NDP MP, so I don't have anyone specific to write to.

remind remind's picture

I do not have a NDP MP either, I just write to them all.


OTTAWA -- A federal justice bill making it a separate crime if a fetus dies when its mother is attacked scraped its way through the second stage of proceedings in Parliament Wednesday.

But Winnipeg NDP MP Pat Martin is hoping MPs opposed to the bill will do whatever they can to ensure the bill never makes it out of committee, fearing this is going to rejuvenate the abortion debate in Canada.

"I think the NDP, the Bloc and about half the Liberals will mobilize at committee stage to try and nip this in the bud,'' said Martin.

The Unborn Victims of Crime Act passed second reading Wednesday evening by just seven votes as the controversial issue split support among the Conservatives, Liberals and NDP.

Martin and other critics, including pro-choice groups, fear by giving the fetus a right through this legislation, it opens the door for pro-life groups to go back to court and argue against abortion.


remind remind's picture

According to Antonia over at BnR, Stoffer is going to be talked to, and apparently he voted yea, because of his belief in Private Members Bills.

[url= am told by a well-placed source -- okay an NDP MP -- that he will be spoken to.[/url]



Originally posted by remind:
[b]According to Antonia over at BnR, Stoffer is going to be talked to, and apparently he voted yea, because of his belief in Private Members Bills.[/b]

I didn't understand either part of your sentence. I clicked on your links and I didn't understand what Antonia said either.

Did Stoffer do something wrong under NDP rules?

If they don't whip the vote, what are they going to "speak to him" about?????

And what is his "belief" in private members' bills? He votes yea to all of them?

I don't get it.



Originally posted by unionist:
[b]And what is his "belief" in private members' bills? He votes yea to all of them?

From what I've read, I gather he thinks private members' should be encouraged so he makes it a practice to vote in favour of all of them at second reading so they all go to committee. His theory is that those that deserve to die will either die in committee or be so amended as to have no resemblance to their original form.


ok, I've calmed down enough to be reasonable---

why was I shocked by this bill passing second reading?---clearly I am missing more about my society than I know---and considering that I spend alot of time and energy paying attention
this can't bode well for most of us.

I am struggling to understand just how we can be oozing down this path---I can't bear it.

I want to thank everyone who posted names, links, contact info, etc.
You are all wonderful and I put it to good use much of last night.

All of the women in my group now have this info and we'll do what we can.
I was hoping to talk to Dion this morning but bad weather interfered --- the Liberals must surely know what has to happen before a third reading.

You NDPers can be proud of the good showing in the vote.



Originally posted by morningstar:
You NDPers can be proud of the good showing in the vote.[/b]

What about the Bloc, morningstar?


I didn't think that anyone seemed mad at the Bloc and good for them as well---Quebecers of all stripes often seem rather ahead in many issues that effect women.
I was furious at the many Liberals that screwed up, and compared to their poor efforts the NDP did very well with only 1 MP lost in the ozone.
I'm still sticking with trying to work hard within the Liberal party to keep the powers that be aware of women's issues and moving in the right direction, so yesterday was a blow for me.

martin dufresne

One argument that can prove useful in writing, faxing or phoning Stйphane Dion and the Liberal MPs who supported C-484 - see above - and especially Derek Lee who ought to change his mind since he is sitting in the Justice standing committee in Committe - is to point how the anti-choice yahoos are crying victory.
I imagine that some of the Grits will hesitate to be associated with this group and that they might be swayed by these expressions of glee that go a long way to deny C-484 sponsor Ken Epp's lies about his Bill not threatening reproductive freedom.

Some of what the anti-abortionists are saying:

We need C-484 really Bad!

Bill C-484 will be votable!!! Hurray!
[url=][/url] - [url=][/url]

Pro-Life News Bytes

"(. . .)The Texas Legislature passed the Prenatal Protection Act in 2003 (Senate Bill 319), with the strong support of TAL and other pro-life organizations in Texas and over the objections of abortion advocacy organizations including NARAL, Pro-Choice Texas, the ACLU, and the Texas Association of Planned Parenthood Affiliates.
The decision comes just weeks before the Canadian House of Commons is scheduled to proceed with the second hour of debate on similar legislation for Canada (Bill C-484 - the Unborn Victims of Crime Act). (. . .)"

[url=]Les pro-vie crient victoire[/url]

[ 08 March 2008: Message edited by: martin dufresne ]

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

1) In response to my own angry e-mail, I've also been given the message by a very reliable source that Stoffer believes in principle that all Private Members' Bills should go to committee. I'm also told that the NDP didn't whip the vote because they were of the understanding that everyone was on side with party policy. He is personally pro-choice and apparently intends to vote against the bill if it comes back to the House for Third Reading. If that is the case, I'm still seriously pissed at Stoffer for not realizing how his vote would be taken and for making absolutely no effort to explain his actions.

2) How ever much I'm pissed off at Peter Stoffer, the lion's share of the blame on this atrocious piece of proposed legislation goes to the Liberal and Conservative Parties.

3) Don't bother lobbying Brenda Chamberlain (who was absent). She hasn't voted on any bills this session, and has announced her resignation effective April 7 (after already indicating that she wasn't running again).

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture


At around 8 p.m., Stephane Dion informally addressed the group at his house. He made mention of the bill's passing and acknowledged the deep disappointment in the room. But he assured his women MPs that if the vote had been on actually passing the bill, Liberals would have turned out in force to defeat it.

That is, unless Harper declares it a confidence vote.

martin dufresne

[img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img] [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img] [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

I have yet to hear any responses from my letters to my NDP MP, all party leaders and members of the Justice and Human Rights Committee. This Bill should have been scrapped before even reaching 2nd reading.

The bottom line is that this Bill is about re-opening abortion and finding a way to put restrictions on women's rights to reproductive choice.

If it had any validity as a protective measure that has nothing to do with abortion, why wasn't it tossed in to that huge omnibus criminal justice bill (Bill C-2)? The answer I believe is that Harper knows damn well that this is about abortion and did not want the stench of it attached to his administration, based on his *promise* not to visit abortion.

What is really sad is the number of women's advocacy groups that would have been speaking against this if it weren't for their SWC funding being cut.

martin dufresne

I think politicians consider letters or e-mails from constituents a negligible nuisance unless they arrive in droves. Phone calls and being buttonholed in public rate a little better. Op-Eds in major newspapers push their concern meter upwards, but a strong article by a recognized journalist really starts bells ringing. Let's write to the few good people in the media and feed them the ARCC talking points and our outrage. The standing committee on justice hearings can make this enough of a news story for anyone who cares - and I know that many women journalists do. [img]mad.gif" border="0[/img] [img]mad.gif" border="0[/img] [img]mad.gif" border="0[/img]



Originally posted by laine lowe:
[b]What is really sad is the number of women's advocacy groups that would have been speaking against this if it weren't for their SWC funding being cut.[/b]

I think it's time for women to go back to the drawing board and stop depending on government funding in order to speak up and protest. Women's groups that are charitable or get government funding aren't allowed to speak up anyhow, or get too political lest their funding be cut. Time to start organizing!

BTW, I did ask someone from Canadians For Choice yesterday if the reason there's nothing about Bill C-484 on their web site is because they're charitable and they said yes, that's exactly why. They can't do it or they'll lose their charitable status.


I wonder if it isn't time for Canadian women to look to Iceland women?


Could you expand on that?


I believe Iceland has a woman's party, not quite sure but they have had some interesting women as head of the state.


I am annoyed that this bill passed. It never should have made it past committe stage, and I certainly hope that it was simply an oversight that allowed it to.

I'm not surprised to see my MP (Charles Hubbard, the pro gun, anti gay, anti...what to call it, freedom over one's own body, crusader. I've tried to talk to this man before (sort of know him) but he'll have nothing to do with me.

Anyway, I'm annoyed at Stoffer but I'm more annoyed at the simple fact that this all happened out of the public eye.

This will now move to the Senate, is that correct? If so, I would suggest that everyone attempt to contact a Senator (I'll contact Marilyn Trenholme-Counsel NB) to attempt to encourage them to kill this bill.

Though the courts will protect the rights that exist, it would be nice for it to not have to come to that.

This is a very minor setback, but every set back must be challenged. No vulnerability can be allowed.

writer writer's picture

I'm a bit concerned that things are getting mushed, here. It has passed second reading. It is going to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

That committee has yet to schedule discussion on C-484.

This bill has not passed third reading. It is not going to the Senate.



Ahh, thank you for the has not passed the House? It is only moving to third reading?


I'm sorry, you are clearly stating it is moving to the committee from which I highly doubt it will ever emerge.


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