So what have our parliamentarians been up to in the last couple of months? With a controversial court ruling in B.C. over the possession of child pornography as the backdrop, the Hon. Lucienne Robillard, the minister of citizenship and immigration, introduces Bill C-63 to amend the Citizenship of Canada Act. Among other things, the legislation will give the government the exclusive authority to determine who is a spouse and what is a parent-child relationship for the purposes of the Citizenship Act. Pro-family forces see this as an underhanded way of introducing a sweeping redefinition of marriage into Canadian law.

Still, there is very good news to report this time on the pro-life front. First of all, something I missed from December: Reform MP Maurice Vellacott introduced Bill C-461, an act to provide “conscience-clause” legislation for pro-life health care workers.

Imagine that! On the eve of the 21st century, we can still fire health care practitioners and impede their education and training simply because they care about babies and pregnant women. Amazing! But thanks to Mr. Vellacott, all MPs who believe in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms now have an opportunity to put their signatures where their mouths are, and sign on to a bill that protects the freedoms of conscience and religion.

Action item: Call your MPs, draw their attention to this bill, and urge them to sign it. Mr. Vellacott needs 100 signatures in order to have it automatically drawn for debate, instead of waiting for his name to come up in the private members’ bill draw.

Another private member’s bill was introduced recently by Reformer Rob Anders that deserves your attention. It is a Labour Code amendment. “Labour Code?” you ask. “Labour Code,” I say. Yes, there is a connection. Bill C-469 would “prevent a trade union whose collective agreement requires an employee to pay union dues from using those dues for political purposes unless the employee notifies the union in writing that the employee consents to those dues being used in such a way.”

Union dues are used for many purposes that employees find offensive. In some cases, this includes donations to anti-life organizations and activities, as Mr. Anders noted in the House when he introduced the bill. This bill should receive wide cross-party support from fair-minded MPs. Please take notice of the action item mentioned above and apply it to this bill as well.

Another item worthy of note: I think we were all taken by surprise when we saw that the first Liberal member’s statement (SO31) during Question Period in the House of Commons on Nov. 27 was a pro-life statement. (Yeah, I was a bit slow on the draw with this one, too. Sorry about that.) Paul Szabo drew the attention of his colleagues to the number of abortions committed in Canada each day, and the financial cost of the procedures to taxpayers.

You have to understand that Question Period is carefully controlled by all parties because it is the most watched part of the House of Commons proceedings by the general public and the media. It gives some indication of the issues the parties consider to be priorities. Most pro-lifers should appreciate, therefore, how remarkable it is that a pro-life statement would be approved by Liberal Question Period organizers, let alone as the first statement of the day.

I didn’t ask him, but I would be very surprised if Mr. Szabo simply walked into the Liberal Question Period planning session one day and said, “I want to make a statement on the evils of abortion.”

“Sure! No problem, good buddy! Come to the front of the line! We’ve been looking for somebody for weeks who’d be willing to speak on abortion from a pro-life perspective.”

I don’t think so. Congratulations to Mr. Szabo for doing whatever he did to gain access to that coveted spot in Question Period on behalf of the unborn children in Canada. It’s sad that the Liberal government is so repressive that this is a remarkable event. Nonetheless, it is something to cheer about when someone speaks the truth on this issue in Parliament.