CANADIAN STUDENTS DISMAYED AT M408 BEING DEEMED NON-VOTABLE
OTTAWA, ON (March 22 2013) – Canadian students are expressing their dismay with yesterday’s decision that deemed Motion 408 to be non-votable. This motion, brought forward by Langley MP Mark Warawa, consists of one sentence and calls on Parliament to condemn discrimination against girls occurring through sex-selective pregnancy termination.
Mr. Warawa has called the decision made by the subcommittee of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs “shocking and undemocratic”. A Library of Parliament analyst clearly and repeatedly explained that the motion was fully compatible with the criteria for votability.
“All too often, we have seen students silenced on university campuses when exploring controversial topics,” states Rebecca Richmond, Executive Director of the National Campus Life Network (NCLN). “It is baffling that Parliament would appear to be experiencing similar problems, especially when the motion at hand is a simple affirmation of a core Canadian value, that is, the equality of girls and boys.”
Students in pro-life clubs across the country have been involved with a national campus campaign this semester, coordinated and promoted through NCLN. This campaign has included screenings of the award-winning documentary “It’s a Girl”, presentations at B.C. universities by Mr. Warawa, as well as the distribution of information, collection of petitions, and other activities focused on raising awareness about gendercide and supporting M408.
“I have personally met a student who survived gendercide abroad,” remarks Anastasia Pearse, who coordinated west coast campus activities with NCLN. “To scuttle the motion in this way is an affront not only to the victims of gendercide – an estimated 200 million worldwide – but also to the dignity of all women in Canada.”
Mr. Warawa has initiated an appeal of the decision, which he will take “as far as necessary.”
“We hope that Mr. Warawa’s appeal will be successful so that parliamentarians will have the opportunity to send a strong message about female equality in our country and abroad,” continues Ms. Richmond. “92% of Canadians think sex-selective abortion should be illegal. For our government to do anything less than condemn this discriminatory practice would be disgraceful.”
For further comment, please contact:
Rebecca Richmond, Executive Director, National Campus Life Network, firstname.lastname@example.org, 416 388 0461.
Anastasia Pearse, Western Campus Coordinator, National Campus Life Network, email@example.com, 604 365 3484.