Langley MP Mark Warawa is withdrawing his controversial private member’s motion on sex selection, and replacing it with a bill to change the circumstances surrounding the sentencing of sex offenders.
He made the announcement at a press conference in Ottawa on Wednesday.
Warawa’s motion, M-408, called on the House of Commons to condemn the practice of aborting fetuses based on their gender. It was initially cleared to proceed, but then stopped by a Commons subcommittee, made up of three MPs. An appeal by Warawa to the full House committee was also rejected.
The rejection of the motion focused far more attention on the subject and author of the motion. Numerous media reports used it to highlight the tight control Prime Minister Stephen Harper has over his caucus and the Conservative government’s intention not to allow anything related to abortion to be dealt with in the House of Commons. Warawa’s public profile increased dramatically, and he was the subject of numerous media reports from across the country.
Warawa recognizes that the issue has now received far more attention, and he said he plans to continue talking about it at universities, in debates and in public discussions. He wants to work with MPs from other parties on the issue.
“Seeking more ideas and input on how to deal with the issue of gendercide is the best way to go now,” he said. “Public awareness has been achieved.
“I considered what the best options would be, and I didn’t think (an appeal) to the full House of Commons would be successful. “
He will be replacing the motion with a private member’s bill, which will seek to change sentencing guidelines for sex offenders. It has come about as the result of a discussion with Langley residents whose daughter was the victim of a sex offender. The offender served a portion of his six-month sentence in jail and served the remainder at his home, next door to the victim.
“Courts need discretion, but they also need guidance,” Warawa said. “We as a society cannot permit a sex offender to serve a sentence anywhere near the victim.”
“The parent said to me “Why should I have to move?,” and that’s a relevant question,” Warara said.
He will introduce the new bill, called the Safe At Home bill, on Thursday.