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MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS

Meeting No. 38

Thursday, March 23, 2000

The Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights met at 9:43 a.m. this day, in Room 209, West Block, the Vice-Chair, Ivan Grose, presiding.

Members of the Committee present: Carolyn Bennett, Chuck Cadman, Paul DeVillers, Ivan Grose, Peter MacKay, John Maloney, John McKay and Jacques Saada.

Acting Members present: Rob Anders for Chuck Cadman, Karen Redman for Paul DeVillers, Richard Marceau for Michel Bellehumeur, Eric Lowther for Jim Abbott, Paul Forseth for John Reynolds, Paddy Torsney for Aileen Carroll, Lynn Myers for Andy Scott and Steve Mahoney for Reg Alcock.

In attendance: From the Library of Parliament: Mary Hurley, Researcher; Philip Rosen, Senior Analyst.

Witnesses: From the Department of Justice: Michelle Gosselin, Director General, Modernizing Benefits and Obligations; Lisa Hitch, Senior Counsel and Chief policy Coordinator.

Pursuant to its Order of Reference of Monday, February 21, 2000, the Committee resumed consideration of Bill C-23, An Act to modernize the Statutes of Canada in relation to benefits and obligations (See Minutes of Proceedings, Tuesday, February 29, 2000 , Meeting No. 27).

Pursuant to Standing Order 75(1), consideration of Clause 1 is postponed.

The Committee resumed consideration of the following amendment moved by John Maloney:

- That Bill C-23 be amended by adding after line 5 on page 1 the following:

  1. For greater certainty, the amendments made by this Act do not affect the meaning of the word "marriage", that is, the lawful union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

Debate arose thereon.

Svend Robinson moved, - That the Committee postpone clause-by-clause consideration of Bill C-23 in order to permit further witnesses to be heard on the issue of the definition of marriage, with a balance of witnesses from those opposing the proposed amendment and those supporting the proposed amendment on the definition of marriage.

After debate, the question put on the motion, it was negatived on the following recorded division:

YEAS:

Réal Ménard, Richard Marceau, Svend Robinson and Peter MacKay: 4

NAYS:

Lynn Myers, Steve Mahoney, Paddy Torsney, Paul DeVillers, John Maloney, John McKay, Jacques Saada, Eric Lowther, Chuck Cadman and Paul Forseth: 10

Svend Robinson moved the following sub-amendment.

- That the amendment be amended by deleting all the words after the word "marriage".

After debate, the question put on the sub-amendment, it was negatived on the following recorded division:

YEAS:

Carolyn Bennett, Richard Marceau, Svend Robinson and Peter MacKay: 4

NAYS:

Lynn Myers, Steve Mahoney, Paddy Torsney, Paul DeVillers, John Maloney, John McKay, Jacques Saada, Eric Lowther, Chuck Cadman and Paul Forseth: 10

Eric Lowther moved the following sub-amendment:

- That the amendment be amended by replacing the words ""marriage", that is", with "marriage, which, for all purposes of Canadian law, means".

After debate, the question put on the sub-amendment, it was negatived on the following recorded division:

YEAS:

Eric Lowther, Chuck Cadman and John Reynolds: 3

NAYS:

Lynn Myers, Steve Mahoney, Carolyn Bennett, Paddy Torsney, Paul DeVillers, John Maloney, John McKay, Jacques Saada, Richard Marceau, Svend Robinson and Peter MacKay: 11

The question being put on the amendment, it was agreed to the following recorded division:

YEAS:

Lynn Myers, Steve Mahoney, Paddy Torsney, Paul DeVillers, John Maloney, John McKay, Jacques Saada, Eric Lowther, Chuck Cadman, John Reynolds and Peter MacKay: 11

NAYS:

Svend Robinson, Richard Marceau, Réal Ménard and Carolyn Bennett: 4

Clauses 2 to 10 carried severally on division.

Clause 11 carried on the following recorded division:

YEAS:

Lynn Myers, Steve Mahoney, Carolyn Bennett, Paddy Torsney, Karen Redman, John Maloney, John McKay, Jacques Saada, Réal Ménard and Svend Robinson: 10

NAYS:

Eric Lowther, John Reynolds and Rob Anders: 3

Clause 12 carried on the following recorded division:

YEAS:

Lynn Myers, Steve Mahoney, Carolyn Bennett, Paddy Torsney, Karen Redman, John Maloney, John McKay, Jacques Saada, Réal Ménard and Svend Robinson: 10

NAYS:

Eric Lowther, John Reynolds and Rob Anders: 3

Clause 13 carried on the following recorded division:

YEAS:

Lynn Myers, Steve Mahoney, Carolyn Bennett, Paddy Torsney, Karen Redman, John Maloney, John McKay, Jacques Saada, Réal Ménard and Svend Robinson: 10

NAYS:

Eric Lowther, John Reynolds and Rob Anders: 3

Clause 14 carried on the following recorded division:

YEAS:

Lynn Myers, Steve Mahoney, Carolyn Bennett, Paddy Torsney, Karen Redman, John Maloney, John McKay, Jacques Saada, Réal Ménard and Svend Robinson: 10

NAYS:

Eric Lowther, John Reynolds and Rob Anders: 3

At 11:45 a.m., the Committee adjourned to the call of the Chair.

 

 

Roger Préfontaine

Clerk of the Committee