Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 13, 2005
Government's rush pushes O'Brien out of Liberal caucus
By DEBORAH GYAPONG
Canadian Catholic News
Opposing the "headlong rush" to pass same-sex marriage legislation, MP Pat O'Brien (London-Fanshawe, Ont.) has left the Liberal caucus to sit as an independent.
"I will use every opportunity - bar none - in order to defeat this legislation," he said at a June 6 news conference.
O'Brien said the Liberals have no mandate to rush same-sex marriage through, and urged the government to call an election. "The democratic thing to do, the right thing to do, the courageous thing to do is to go to the polls with this question still pending," he said.
O'Brien had threatened to leave the Liberal caucus about six weeks ago, but stayed put after receiving assurances from Prime Minister Paul Martin that the committee examining Bill C-38 would hold full, fair and meaningful hearings.
Since then, the committee has imposed a June 14 deadline for hearing witnesses, and will return the bill to the House of Commons June 16.
O'Brien says the hearings are not what Martin promised.
He criticized the artificial deadline, the "berating, lecturing and insulting of witnesses," and inadequate notice for witnesses, sometimes as short as 24 hours before their hearings.
He said he believes he could run again as an independent and win.
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