Tuesday, March 23, 2010


This is the motion being voted on in the House of Commons today that arises out of the twisting and turning government position on family planning as a component of their maternal health initiative. But for that twisting and turning, such a motion would likely not have come forward. So here it is:
March 19, 2010 — Mr. Rae (Toronto Centre) — That, in the opinion of the House, the government’s G8 maternal and child health initiative for the world’s poorest regions must include the full range of family planning, sexual and reproductive health options, including contraception, consistent with the policy of previous Liberal and Conservative governments, and all other G8 governments last year in L’Aquila, Italy;

that the approach of the Government of Canada must be based on scientific evidence, which proves that education and family planning can prevent as many as one in every three maternal deaths; and

that the Canadian government should refrain from advancing the failed right-wing ideologies previously imposed by the George W. Bush administration in the United States, which made humanitarian assistance conditional upon a “global gag rule” that required all non-governmental organizations receiving federal funding to refrain from promoting medically-sound family planning.
That is what the Conservatives have now confirmed they will vote no to, following their emergency caucus to strategize about what to do:
The Conservative caucus held an emergency meeting Tuesday morning while debate was getting started to co-ordinate strategy on the potentially divisive issue of contraception and head off any potential dissent in the Tory ranks, according to unnamed officials in the party.
Emergency! Whatever to do when Canada is already committed to supporting family planning measures as agreed to at the last G8? Apparently for the Conservatives, it's to vote no. And to characterize wording in the above motion, critical of the Bush gag law, as "rash, extreme anti-American rhetoric that we cannot, as a matter of foreign policy, support."
Putting the Conservatives on the defensive for their lack of clarity and their playing politics with the issue throughout last week? Seems like fitting and appropriate karma for them this week.