Carleton Place – This week local MP Scott Reid announced the release of a riding referendum. Eligible voters in the Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox & Addington constituency are being encouraged to participate. The question is whether Mr. Reid should vote in favour of Motion M-312. Motion M-312 is considered to be contentious because, if passed, it would re-open the debate on abortion.
“I have always promised to ask the people whom I represent in Parliament – the residents of this constituency – how I ought to vote on critical issues,” stated Reid. “That’s why I’m asking the folks who live in our area for their honest opinion on this motion, and I vow that I will vote according to the majority of votes cast in this referendum.”
Motion M-312 would cause a re-opening of the debate on whether or not some or all abortions should be made illegal. Currently, all abortions are completely legal, because of the wording of Subsection 223 (1) of the Criminal Code. If passed, this motion would create a special committee to investigate what scientific evidence exists to support the claim that a child’s life begins at the point of complete birth, and if there is evidence to support the claim that a child’s life begins at some point prior to birth.
This special committee would report back to the House of Commons next year, and the House would decide whether or not to accept the committee’s report.
Residents of Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox & Addington should receive a copy of a publication outlining the issue over the next week. Included are arguments from public figures on both sides of the issue, as well as advocacy websites that can be browsed for more information.
The publication will include an official ballot that can be filled-out and returned to the office of Scott Reid by mail, postage-free. One vote may be cast per registered voter in each household. If anybody does not receive a copy of a ballot, or if more ballots are required for larger households, additional ballots will be made available upon request.
Only ballots received prior to the date of the vote can be counted. The results of the referendum will be made public prior to the vote in the House of Commons.
This will represent Mr. Reid’s sixth riding referendum since he was first elected in 2000. He has always voted according to the will of the majority of votes cast – even if it has meant voting against the rest of his caucus colleagues.
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For further information contact:
Communications Assistant to Scott Reid, MP
Full text of Motion M-312:
Be it resolved that a special committee of the House be appointed and directed to review the declaration in Subsection 223(1) of the Criminal Code which states that a child becomes a human being only at the moment of complete birth and to answer the questions hereinafter set forth;
that the membership of the special committee consist of 12 members which shall include seven members from the government party, four members from the Official Opposition and one member from the Liberal Party, provided that the Chair shall be from the government party; that the members to serve on the said committee be appointed by the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs and the membership report of the special committee be presented to the House no later than 20 sitting days after the adoption of this motion;
that substitutions to the membership of the special committee be allowed, if required, in the manner provided by Standing Order 114(2);
that the special committee have all the powers of a Standing Committee as provided in the Standing Orders; and
that the special committee present its final report to the House of Commons within 109 months after the adoption of this motion with answers to the following questions,
(i) what medical evidence exists to demonstrate that a child is or is not a human being before the moment of complete birth, (ii) is the preponderance of medical evidence consistent with the declaration in Subsection 223(1) that a child is only a human being at the moment of complete birth, (iii) what are the legal impact and consequences of Subsection 223(1) on the fundamental human rights of a child before the moment of complete birth, (iv) what are the options available to Parliament in the exercise of its legislative authority in accordance with the Constitution and decisions of the Supreme Court to affirm, amend, or replace Subsection 223(1).