Defend Girls Blog

“It’s a girl,” should not be death sentence.

Motion 408 Deemed Non-votable

21 March

Mark Warawa’s motion to condemn sex selection abortion in Canada was deemed non-votable today (March 21, 2013). Below is Mark Warawa’s  statement. We know this is just an attempt to silenmce the debate on abortion. We encourage you to contact the subcommittee members to let them know you disagree with their decision. Members include Chair, Dave MacKenzie  (CPC, Oxford),  Scott Armstrong (CPC, Cumberland – Colchester – Musquodoboit Valley),  Stéphane Dion  (Lib, Saint-Laurent – Cartierville) and Philip Toone (NDP, Gaspésie – Îles-de-la-Madeleine).


Motion 408 to Protect Girls is definitely in order” — Langley, BC MP Mark Warawa

M-408 — September 26, 2012 — Mr. Warawa (Langley) — That the House condemn discrimination against females occuring through sex-selective pregnancy termination.
Ottawa, ON (March 21st, 2013) — Today, following a shocking and undemocratic decision by the Subcommittee on Private Members’ Business, Langley MP Mark Warawa announced his intention to appeal this decision “as far as necessary,” which could include an unprecedented secret ballot in the House of Commons. “Motion 408’s call to condemn discrimination against women and girls is definitely in order,” said Warawa, noting that “MPs must defend their right to vote on issues of the day.” According to the rules of the House, there are only four criteria by which a piece of Private Members’ Business may be deemed non-votable. They are:

  1. Bills and motions must not concern questions that are outside federal jurisdiction.
  2. Bills and motions must not clearly violate the Constitution Acts, 1867 to 1982, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
  3. Bills and motions must not concern questions that are substantially the same as ones already voted on by the House of Commons in the current session of Parliament.
  4. Bills and motions must not concern questions that are currently on the Order Paper or Notice Paper as items of government business.

An impartial expert from the Library of Parliament repeatedly and emphatically stated M-408 is fully compatible with all four criteria. Despite the analyst’s expert opinion, the Subcommittee mistakenly decided that M-408 should be deemed non-voteable.  Members stated that it falls outside the jurisdiction of the Federal Government and is similar to a motion already voted on in the House.

“My motion is fully in line with the criteria to deem Private Members’ Business votable,” said Warawa. “The idea that Members of Parliament aren’t allowed to express an opinion on any subject is beyond belief.”

The next step is for the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs to decide whether to allow the Subcommittee’s report to stand. This meeting is expected to be public and to include verbal and written submissions from Warawa. The Meeting is yet to be scheduled.

One Response to “Motion 408 Deemed Non-votable”

  1. John Dam March 22, 2013 at 5:33 am #

    I agree tottaly with The Honourable member of Parliamnt Mr. Warawa that this motion should be voted on John Dam

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