Short notes on government. (News in Brief: Canada).
Ottawa--The federal government has approved changes in House of Commons procedures that will make all private members' bills and motions votable.... Canadian Alliance MIP Maurice Vellacott has reintroduced a bill to establish conscience legislation for health care workers who refuse to participate in medical procedures that offend a tenet of their religion or their belief that human life is inviolable....A new federal bill, C-10, proposes to move animals out of the category of "property," and treat them as beings in their own right, with protection under the Criminal Code. They would have more protection than preborn human babies who have no protection whatever in Canada....Advocates of proportional representation in government had a field day criticizing the voting system after the Yukon Party captured two-thirds of the territory's 18 seats in their November 4, 2002, election -- despite claiming just 40 per cent of the popular vote. ... Finally, accused serial killer Robert Pickton of Vancouver has been charged with more counts of first-degree murder, bringing the number of charges against him to 16. Fifty-five women in all have disappeared over the last four or five years, all of them working as prostitutes in downtown Vancouver .... Toronto's black community is reeling after a spate of gun-related murders. Thirty-six black Torontonians have been slain in the last 22 months, all but three by gunfire. Many of them hail from Jamaica where the annual murder rate is above one thousand. The recent murders cut across the attempt by the daily newspaper, The Toronto Star, to denounce all such reporting as "racial profiling".