Government and Opposition Senators clashed over the constitutionality of a Bicameral Caucus of Women Parliamentarians to be established as a Sessional Select Committee.
Opposition Senator, Floyd Morris, argued that such an entity could violate the non-discrimination clause of the Charter of Rights.
Senator Morris was making his contribution to the debate in the Upper House Friday. He called for clarification from the Attorney General as to the constitutionality of the motion.
The senator reacted angrily to a sotto voce comment from Leader of Government Business, Kamina Johnson Smith who labelled his call as dissentious.
Senator Johnson Smith later noted that an informal opinion from the Attorney General found the motion to be in line with the constitution. However, she warned that such a concern raised by a male parliamentarian at this late hour sends the wrong signal.
Kamina Johnson Smith, Leader of Government Business in the Senate.
Senator Morris later abstained from the vote until a formal opinion could be provided by the Attorney General’s Chambers.