OTTAWA, ON, December 6, 2013 – MP Maurice Vellacott has put forward notice of two motions that he intends to bring in Parliament in late January, when his name is on Order of Precedence. The first proposes that shared parenting be the presumptive norm in custody cases, while the second, reproduced below, concerns the rights of children before as well as after birth.

“We thank Mr. Vellacott for putting the issues of the human rights of the unborn before parliament, as we applaud the efforts of all pro-life MPs to encourage discussion on this issues,” said Joanne McGarry, executive director of the Catholic Civil Rights League. “We will be following this proposal closely.”

The Hansard text of the motion follows:

M-483 — December 6, 2013 — Mr. Vellacott (Saskatoon—Wanuskewin)— That a special committee of the House be appointed to determine what legal protections Canada ought to provide to children before birth, in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Canada ratified in 1991, which states that “the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth“; and that the committee consist of twelve 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 be from the government party; that in addition to the Chair, there be one Vice-Chair from each of the opposition parties; that the committee have all of the powers of a Standing Committee as provided in the Standing Orders; 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 membership substitutions be permitted to be made from time to time, if required, in the manner provided for in Standing Order 114(2); and that the Committee present its final report to the House no later than 6 months after the adoption of this order.