The ongoing terrorist concern has eclipsed every other issue on Parliament Hill in recent weeks, so there isn’t a lot to report from the federal scene in terms of developments on the life issues. It would be a good time to remind you of the various private members, bills and motions that have been introduced and could be drawn for debate at any time. Good ones should inspire thank you letters to the MPs who introduced them and letters to your own MP, encouraging his or her support when and if they are debated in the House of Commons. Bad bills should result in letters to your MP, encouraging him/her to oppose them. Such a letter could also include a query as to the MPs, position on the issue, so that if it is not agreeable with yours, you can follow up his response with a presentation of your view and the reasons why you think he should change his mind on the issue.

As of this writing, initiatives already scheduled for debate include Svend Robinson’s Bill C-264, through which the homosexual New Democrat wants to redefine marriage to permit homosexual partners to wed. This bill has been seconded by Liberal backbencher Bill Graham who represents the riding of Toronto Centre-Rosedale. This Toronto area riding has been identified as having the largest homosexual population of all federal ridings in the country.

Another initiative scheduled for debate is Motion M-186, introduced by Canadian Alliance MP Jay Hill. It calls on the government to recognize the concerns of children affected by the divorce of their parents when it comes to parenting decisions that affect them. Another bill on this issue (C-334) has been introduced by Liberal backbencher Roger Gallaway. He is a thorn in the side of his government for his outspoken criticism of the justice minister for stalling on introducing reforms to child custody and support legislation.

A third initiative of interest to pro-family Canadians is an anti-spanking bill introduced by New Democrat Libby Davies. Bill C-329 would repeal Section 43 from the Criminal Code so that parents could be charged with assault simply for spanking their children. Svend Robinson has introduced a related motion (M-84) that urges the government to go further, “making spanking a criminal offence under the Criminal Code.”

Among the other bills and motions in the hopper is one on euthanasia introduced by Robinson (M-87) and two on abortion. The two abortion initiatives deal with conscience protection (C-246) and the definition of human being (M-392), introduced respectively by Alliance MPs Maurice Vellacott and Garry Breitkreuz. There seem to be no current initiatives related to reproductive technologies. New Democrat MP Judy Wasylycia-Leis has introduced a motion (M-149) in support of setting up an organ donor registry and Alliance MP Leon Benoit has introduced another motion (M-12) related to organ and tissue donations.

Two other motions reflect further the strident leftism of Libby Davies. M-313 calls on the government to “consider the advisability of allocating $50 million to front-line, independent, feminist, women-controlled groups committed to ending violence against women,” and M-314 asks the government to “consider the advisability of providing $30 million in core funding for equality-seeking womens organizations.”

Alliance dissident Jim Pankiw has introduced a bill (C-266) to protect the traditional definition of marriage. Jay Hill has introduced a motion (M-167) asking the feds to “extend financial support to programs run by community groups for couples wanting to avoid separation and divorce or seeking to strengthen their marital relationship.”

Eleven bills and motions deal with various aspects of child pornography and sexual offenses primarily against children, including two from New Democrat Peter Stoffer that specifically target the Internet (C-210 and C-212). Alliance MP Art Hanger’s bill C-278 would raise the age of consent for sexual activity from 14 to 16.

Three initiatives have been introduced that relate to child-care, two (M-52 and M-378,) by Libby Davies and one (M-223) by Liberal backbencher Guy St-Julien. Davies wants to see “a national, publicly-funded child care program as a key component of a strategy to eliminate poverty and barriers to employment,” and “1.5 percent of projected gross domestic product go to supporting families with children.” Mr. St-Julien wants the feds “to grant a salary or a cash supplement, or both, to mothers and fathers who stay at home to care for their children.”

By way of motion M-123, Hill wants to pressure the government to “increase the basic personal exemption for the wage earner and dependent spouse to $10,000 each.”