Thursday, February 16, 2012

Section 13 - Canadian Human Rights Act

UPDATE: I've now gone through the list of who voted for free speech. Here's what I found: With two exceptions, virtually every single one who voted for free speech was a member of the Conservative Party, but not every Conservative voted (their names do not appear on either the Yeas or Nays lists)

These are the Conservative MPs who did not vote:

Peter Kent (surprise!), but he is a high profile cabinet minister (Environment portfolio) who caused the opposition and CBC/Globe and Mail/Toronto Star supporters to go apoplectic when he announced Canada will be pulling out of the Koyoto Protocol, so I won't hold this against him, and besides, maybe he was busy working on environment issues, of which there are plenty, these days.

Cheryl Gallant; who is also a Conservative, but her name does not appear on the list.  Maybe she has a good excuse, but I don't know much about her, although she has been in the news from time to time.

Ted Opitz; same as Gallant, he's a Conservative but I've never heard of him before. He may be a rookie, or at the least, a dull backbencher.

Deepak Obhrai; ditto.

Joe Oliver; he's a Conservative Cabinet Minister whose name has been in the news quite a bit lately, usually in connection with the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline.

Tilly O'Neil Gordon, another Conservative who has been in the House for a few years, but, again, I know nothing about her, other than that she is from the Maritimes.

The two MPs who are not members of the conservative Party but who also voted for free speech are Peter Goldring, who used to be a Conservative but now sits as an Independent and (drumroll please) A MEMBER OF THE LIBERAL PARTY!!!! Scott Simms.  Congratulations to Mr. Simms for voting his conscience.
Yesterday, the Act to Amend the Human Rights Act (ie) to rid us of the pernicious jackboot on our free speech rights, passed second reading, 158 for to 131 against, (background information here, herehere, and here.)

I was interested to see who was against free speech and found this list of who voted for and against (scroll down near the bottom for tally of votes and voters on Bill C - 304 or Standing Order 93(1)).

As I expected, all members who voted against free speech were Dippers (94 nays), Liberals (32 nays), Bloc (4 nays) and the lone member for the Green Party, Elizabeth May (1 nay).

Interestingly, some members of those parties did not vote against the bill (perhaps they stayed home that day - old trick used by politicians who don't want to be accountable. Regrettably, the same can be said of the Conservatives. They have 165 members, but the total number voting for free speech was 158.)

The current standing of each of the political parties is shown here.

Note, the NDP hold 101 seats, meaning seven Dippers did not vote against free speech (and perhaps conveniently forgot to show up), Liberals hold 35 seats, which means 3 did not vote against free speech.

In any case, the Bill now goes to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights where the Conservatives have a majority. It is now only a matter of time. The whole process from beginning to end is extremely time consuming and, by tradition and protocol, passes through numerous stages:

But this one is almost done. Yahoo!!

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Blogger Dave in Pa. said...

I'm curious. Did the Lieberals and/or the Dippers give an official rationale for their opposition to the bill?

February 16, 2012 11:32 am  
Blogger Louise said...

I don't know. But I suspect the party bosses employed their whip.

I'm preparing an update, BTW, about the members who voted Yea and who, from among the Conservative Party, did not vote.

I'm sure, if I had twice as many hours as there are in a day, I could find out who was absent on the day or at least at the time the vote was taken, but I ain't gonna. I've got other things to do and I'm very pleased that the long cold night is almost over.

February 16, 2012 11:44 am  

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