Liberal MPs Walk Out Of Status Of Women Committee To Protest Tories’ Pick For Chair

Conservative MP Rachael Harder is shown in the House of Commons.

A meeting of the House of Commons committee on the status of women lasted about two minutes Tuesday after Liberal MPs walked out in protest over the Conservatives’ pick for chair.

Tories nominated their new status of women critic, Alberta MP Rachael Harder, to serve in the role that is traditionally filled by a member of the opposition.

“The Liberal members of the committee cannot support the opposition putting forward someone like Rachael Harder, whose voting record is opposed to where women stand,” a Liberal member of the committee is heard saying in an audio recording. “We have to leave the meeting.”

The meeting was called to an end because of a lack of quorum.

Liberals and NDP MP Sheila Malcolmson had raised concerns about the prospects of Harder serving as chair, CTV News reports, because they say she is anti-abortion and anti-transgender rights.

Malcolmson took to Twitter Tuesday to say Liberals joined in the NDP opposition to Harder serving in that role.

Glad #Liberals just joined the #NDP to oppose the nomination of #antichoice@RachaelHarderMP as #StatusOfWomen Cttee chair.#cdnpoli#canfempic.twitter.com/PsBV2GqlEu

— Sheila Malcolmson (@s_malcolmson) September 26, 2017

I will oppose any candidate for #StatusOfWomen Committee chair who doesn’t support a women’s right to choose. #cdnpoli#canfem#ndppic.twitter.com/PDiJ7XFsWf

— Sheila Malcolmson (@s_malcolmson) September 26, 2017

Tory Leader Andrew Scheer named Harder, who was first elected in the riding of Lethbridge in 2015, his “shadow minister” for the status of women in August.

Shortly after the appointment, Press Progress reported that the anti-abortion Campaign Life Coalition endorsed Harder in the last election. IPolitics also revealed that she gave federal grants to two pregnancy care centres in her riding that oppose abortion.

Harder told reporters at the time that she wanted to work on a range of issues affecting women and that Tories will not reopen the abortion debate if they return to government.

That’s the same message delivered by Scheer, a devout Catholic who personally opposes abortion. Liberals labelled Scheer a social conservative “extremist” after he won the Tory leadership in May.

Status of Women Minister Maryam Monsef told reporters Tuesday that while committees are independent, she applauded the Liberal MPs who protested Harder’s nomination.

“The appointment of the chair of any given committee is a significant appointment, and there is no secret or doubt [about] our government’s firm standing with

Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada Travel

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