Madam Speaker, in answering the question of why we are using one of the last days of parliament on this issue, it is because of the fact that things roll on when parliament is not in session. I believe that it is timely for us to give a very, very strong and clear message to the courts.
It is true that many of these decisions have been coming down at lower court levels and so far the upper court has upheld them. However, all of the courts are saying to us that they want our guidance. They have said “unless the court speaks”. Even in the most recent M and H decision I believe there was an indication that the court wanted a clear indication from parliament as to the direction it should be taking.
Reform members today are using this as our opportunity to do what the government should have done a long time ago, and that is to have a debate and a vote and establish beyond all shadow of a doubt what actually is required.
We have some instances where the courts have actually asked for this. I have several examples here. They indicate, for example in the Rosenberg decision, that the words referring to the spouse, at any time, of a taxpayer, include the person of the opposite sex or the same sex. They are changing the definition of spouse. As I said in my speech, what can spouse in the context of marriage possibly mean other than the husband of the wife or the wife of the husband?