Rathgeber: 'There is something remarkable going on' - Macleans.ca

Rathgeber: ‘There is something remarkable going on’

Another backbencher speaks up


Conservative MP Brent Rathgeber writes about the rejection of Mark Warawa’s motion

Without a doubt the issue of pregnancy termination is a subject matter that makes some Members of Parliament uneasy and some leaders nervous.  But that is entirely Irrelevant.  If Members are opposed, they can vote against the Motion.  If Leaders are strongly opposed, they can attempt to whip their caucuses to do likewise.  But to essentially censor the motion out of the gate against the advice of an independent analyst is heavy handed and I would suggest contrary to the expectations of constituents who rightly believe that their MP’s have a voice and can represent them in Ottawa.

… and Mr. Warawa’s point of privilege this morning.

Neither Private Members’ Motions nor Bills or SO 31s are the prerogative of the Whips or the House Leaders; they are the prerogative of Private Members.  The Government controls so much of the Parliamentary Procedures and Calendar, it is imperative that Private Members stand firm on defending the few rights and opportunities we maintain to raise matters of importance to our constituents.

Mr. Rathgeber also talks to the CBC.

“It doesn’t really matter what your perspective is on [Motion-]408. The issue is whether or not a member of Parliament has a right to bring forward a motion that is deemed voteable by the independent expert that assessed it. And if that right is taken away, that should be a concern to Parliamentarians on all sides of the House. I believe if there is going to be any concrete change to the way this works… it’s going to require support from more than just the Conservative caucus. I think it’s going to require support from backbenchers from all sides of the house.”