If you listen carefully, you may be able to hear a quiet collective sigh of relief emanating from Langevin Block this week, as the prime minister's House strategists go through the fine print of the next batch of private members' business set to hit the Commons floor over the next few weeks.Maurice obviously got the message: Canadians are fine with the status quo on abortion and will not tolerate any panty-sniffing, gord-bothering attempt to mess with it.
Despite constant rumours of continued, if muted, muttering from the government backbench, it doesn't look like any of the 5 Conservative MPs set to join the queue is particularly interested in setting the stage for a potential split within caucus.
Rather than champion one of the two abortion-related motions he added to the Order Paper just before the House rose in December, or even last week's eleventh-hour pitch to abolish a subcommittee currently charged with deciding which items of private members' business can be put to a House vote, retiring Saskatchewan MP Maurice Vellacott has chosen to champion his comparatively non-contentious bid to rework the current divorce laws to focus on shared parenting instead of custody.
As Kady mentions, Maurice is retiring. One more dinosaur gone from the national scene. Only about 100 left.