What Happened to Motion 408, Why It Matters,
and What it Means for the Abortion Debate in Federal Politics
By Rebecca Richmond
Although Motion 408 wrapped up in the spring and we are approaching fall, people are still curious about the fate of the motion. I make this mostly unsubstantiated assertion based on the fact that it still comes up in conversation.
This interest is heartening because regardless of whether your interest in Canadian politics tends towards compulsively checking Twitter feeds, reading Hansard and watching CPAC or whether it tends to be more limited (and you have no idea what Hansard or CPAC is), the fact remains that what happened this spring with Motion 408 was important. But, surrounded by parliamentary procedure and committees, not to mention the question of privilege and the Liberal motion concerning S.O. 31s, it can be a bit confusing. Even friends and colleagues who had followed the issue to a certain extent were asking for explanations.
I looked for a summary of the situation and, not finding one, began to write. What was originally intended to be a simple blog post turned into a series of posts and then was never posted at all. I decided that it was too late and retired the document to a folder of drafts.
But people continued asking about it and, so, upon request, it was emailed to a few friends. More requests resulted in it being made more public. So enjoy!