Woodworth: Kitchener constituents 'overwhelmingly' support motion

MP Stephen Woodworth is confident his new motion to legally protect the equal rights and dignity of every human being will get a lot of support, despite the fact it is unlikely to see the floor of the House of Commons.
Kitchener Centre MP Stephen Woodworth insists his motion is not about abortion, and that it is simply looking at the necessity for every Canadian law to recognize the dignity and worth of everyone who is a human being. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

Stephen Woodworth, the Conservative MP for Kitchener Centre, is confident his constituents will support his new motion to legally recognize the equal worth and dignity of every human being.  

“This particular motion is new, so it hasn’t been the subject of much comment at this time,” Woodworth told The Morning Edition host Craig Norris.

“But the response to Motion 312 last year, which pointed out how savage and inhumane it is to have a law on the Canadian books which falsely condemns as non-human people who are human, the response from my constituents and across the country was overwhelmingly in favour of my position."

Woodworth had introduced a private member’s motion in 2012 that would study when life begins and re-examine the Criminal Code definition of a human being. The motion was defeated 203-91 in a vote in September of the same year.

On Thursday Woodworth announced a new motion that would legally recognize the equal worth and dignity of every human being.

“So I rather suspect since this is even more clear, and even more grounded in international principles, that my constituents would respond the same way,” he said.

Motion unlikely to reach vote in House

Despite Woodworth’s claims of a groundswell of support for his motion, it is unlikely to ever make it to the floor of the House of Commons for a vote.  The Kitchener Centre MP has already used up his spot on the House of Commons private member's business list with Motion 312.

Unless the list drops below 15 items, and a lottery is held for a spot and Woodworth happens to win that lottery, he won’t see his motion hit the floor before the next election.

Woodworth's critics claim these motions are merely backdoor ways to re-open the issue of abortion in Canada.

“I’m not concerning myself with issues around abortion," Woodworth said in response to his critics' claim. "I am concerning myself with the necessity for every Canadian law to recognize the dignity and worth for everyone who is in fact, a human being.”

“I don’t think there’s any question that I’m opposed to our existing Canadian abortion practices. But I think that the question of allowing legal recognition of the equal worth and dignity of every human being is so much more important than abortion,” Woodworth said.

“I think it has implications for newborn infants, it has implications for people in coma, for people with severe mental defects, it does indeed have implications for children before birth but it’s a much more foundational issue.”


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