Betty Hinton, MP Masthead
Member of Parliament for Kamloops Thompson Cariboo
Canada Coat of Arms

Question Period, September 16, 2003


Mrs. Betty Hinton (Kamloops, Thompson and Highland Valleys, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise today to pay tribute to the people of Kamloops, Thompson and Highland Valleys and the many other British Columbians who have endured and battled this summer's fierce forest fires.


Cohesion, compassion and a pioneering spirit are our greatest weapons against such adversity. I want to thank the countless volunteers and professionals who assisted both directly and indirectly in fighting the fires, as well as those who continue to devote their time and energy to the recovery effort.


I want to make special mention of the Mennonite Disaster Service, whose volunteers from the riding of my colleague from Provencher and other areas pitched in to clean up the aftermath.


I also want to thank the ranchers from the riding of Wild Rose, Alberta, who have come to the rescue with generous donations of hay and straw for the multitude of livestock whose pasture was destroyed in the fires.


I wish there were some way to appropriately and individually recognize each and every person. Unfortunately this is not possible, given the number of firefighters, military personnel--


Excerpts from Debate on CA Opposition Motion on Definition of Marriage September 16, 2003


Mrs. Betty Hinton (Kamloops, Thompson and Highland Valleys, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, there were seven provinces and the territories that did not agree with the interpretation that is being put forward today. I would also like to point out that there is nothing stopping same sex couples from enjoying a committed relationship. They enjoy all the rights and privileges as common law couples do in the country.


For my part, rather than putting my own views forward, I put out a questionnaire to my constituents. Eighteen hundred people responded, and we must remember that was in the midst of my riding being on fire, so 1,800 responses is a pretty strong response. Ninety-three per cent of those people who responded are in favour of maintaining the traditional definition of marriage.


Therefore, I would like to ask the member, is she basing her views, the way she is going to vote, on the views of her constituents, or is she basing them on her background as a lawyer?


Mrs. Betty Hinton (Kamloops, Thompson and Highland Valleys, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, I listened with great interest to the last speaker and I have two questions I would like to ask him.


Would he agree that the majority of Canadians who agree with the change to the definition of marriage are actually unaware that same sex couples already enjoy the rights and privileges of common law couples?


I have to tell him that in my own riding three mainstream ministers have told me that they will no longer marry anyone of either persuasion if this is upheld in the House of Commons. Does the member think there would be any valid reason for people to feel that uncomfortable that they are going to refuse to marry any couples?


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