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Results: 1 - 15 of 62
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2021-03-11 16:32 [p.4926]
Madam Speaker, I can appreciate the gravity of the debate that has been taking place on this very important piece of legislation. It is nothing new to members, no matter what side of the aisle they are on. Those who have been around for the last four or five years have literally seen hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of debate and discussion when we factor in what has taken place in the Senate and its committees, the hours of debate in second reading and third reading, the committee hearings and the special committee hearings.
An amazing amount of consultation has taken place, in particular, with the current minister responsible for the legislation. I know the parliamentary secretary to this particular ministry has done a phenomenal job in terms of reaching out and explaining the many complicated aspects of this legislation, and comparing it with what had taken place previously.
The issue of medical assistance in dying has been on the floor of the House and in our communities for years. We are in this position now because of a specific superior court ruling from the province of Quebec. I think the deadline is now the end of the month. This is the second or third, and final, extension, as has been made very clear. I believe that we need to have legislation dealing with medical assistance in dying and that it needs to comply with our courts. I very much support the rule of law in our democratic system.
I understand there are extremes on either side of the issue. There are those who, for personal and passionate reasons, believe that we should not have the legislation and those who, for personal and passionate reasons, believe that we have to have the legislation. I have chosen the side of supporting the legislation. I made that determination for a number of reasons. I respect the debates that have taken place over the years. I have seen tears on the floor of the House of Commons as MPs plead their position on MAID, at times with a great deal of passion. It is not easy for many, if not all, members of Parliament to ultimately make that determination.
We have heard from our constituents by email, by Canada Post, by telephone and by public meeting. Many of our constituents are following this issue and want us to make a decision from their viewpoint. What I have often found when speaking to constituents is that they understand why we are in the position we are in today. Some would ultimately not want to see this legislation pass, period. They are prepared to use whatever mechanisms they can. I am referring, in particular, to members of the official opposition. They will take whatever actions they can to prevent the passage of this legislation.
When asking a question of the Minister of Justice earlier, I indicated I had listened to many hours of debate on this issue, and I had posed questions to other members.
Let it be put on the record clearly that I believe there are members within the Conservative caucus who do not want this legislation to pass, period. End of story. As a whole, the Conservative Party has taken the position that it wants to continue debate and has somehow drawn the conclusion that it is inappropriate for the government to move closure. I want to highlight two aspects of that, because I think it is very misleading for the Conservatives to try to give the impression in any way that the Government of Canada has not been listening to Canadians, or is trying to ram through legislation.
First, we are in a minority government. We could not be doing this without the support of a majority of the members sitting in the House of Commons. That means that many opposition members are supporting the need to allow this legislation to come to a vote. I suspect, when it does come to a vote, that some of the Conservatives who voted against allowing it to come to a vote will vote in favour of the legislation, so the Conservatives are using the rules to try to prevent that. It is important to recognize that it is not just the government saying the official opposition is being irresponsible with respect to this legislation.
Second, the Conservatives are saying they want more debate and that is what this is all about. They do not want the government to bring in closure. That is just not true. That is not the case. I do not believe that for a moment. Those who are following the debate need to understand and appreciate that the Conservative Party of Canada was offered not once, not twice, but on three separate occasions the opportunity to continue to debate this issue for hours on the floor of the House of Commons. The Conservatives said no to every opportunity they were provided for additional debate. That clearly demonstrates that the Conservative Party is not interested in having more debate time; rather, it wants to filibuster this legislation. In one sense, the Conservatives would be very happy if we debated this bill every day. If we accommodated their so-called desire, they would criticize us for not having more debate on other government bills.
There is a finite amount of time on the floor of the House of Commons. In my opinion, the Conservative Party continues to abuse the opportunity to allow for healthy debate. With Bill C-7, we are talking about life and death. There are examples I could give that further show what I believe has been a very destructive attitude by the Conservative Party of Canada when it comes to the proceedings in the House.
If it were not for shaming the Conservative Party of Canada, some of the legislation and other things that have taken place in the last 24 hours would not have occurred. If Canadians understood the tactics the Conservative Party is using, I believe they would be outraged.
Today is about life or death and Bill C-7. On other occasions, and I would cite Bill C-14 as an excellent example, there were hours and days of debate. I suspect there were probably more days of debate on Bill C-14 than there were on a budget bill, and more speakers than on a budget bill. Conservatives wanted to talk it out. I believe we finally got it through because they were shamed into doing so.
Bill C-7, as I indicated at the beginning, concerns a complex and deeply personal issue. It is about reducing suffering, among other things. In previous debates on this issue, I have shared with the House my own experiences of the passing of my father at Riverview and of my grandmother in palliative care at St. Boniface Hospital.
In these debates, there has been a great deal of discussion about what else we could do. For example, the importance of hospice care and the issues of long-term care, recognizing the federal government has a role to play in those areas—
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2021-03-11 16:46 [p.4928]
Madam Speaker, as I indicated, I have listened to many, many hours of debate on the specific amendment the member is making reference to, as well as the wider aspects of the legislation. I can recall some members, even within the Conservative Party, talking about the importance of wording and the messaging sent out.
It is irresponsible for any member to say the government is trying to facilitate suicide. That is not an appropriate thing to be tying to the legislation, and I think many of my colleagues would suggest it is very insensitive. This is a very complex and deeply personal issue. I do not think a generalization of that nature does anything to contribute to a healthy debate on the matter at hand.
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2021-03-11 16:49 [p.4928]
Madam Speaker, if I may, I would just acknowledge and recognize my colleague, and thank him for supporting the need to seek closure, as his party has recognized that we do have a Superior Court of Quebec decision with a deadline. It is important for us to deal with this.
To answer the member's question a little more directly, there is a certain element within the Conservative Party, as I tried to point out, that has no intention, if it could, of ever allowing this legislation see the light of day. I believe that there are some Conservatives who want to see this legislation. Now the issue has been kicked off to the House leadership team and is being manipulated to a certain degree as a tool. That is most unfortunate and one of the reasons it was necessary for us to bring in closure.
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2021-03-11 16:51 [p.4928]
Madam Speaker, I appreciate the question. I suspect that if we were to review the last 12 months, we would see that tens of thousands of Canadians have been engaged and that a wide range of things both in and outside the legislation were covered. There have been health experts and other stakeholders who have come before the House of Commons and the Senate. I believe we will continue to have opportunities in the future to look at ways to improve the legislation.
However, the current legislation, as it is with the amendments, will in fact not only meet the Superior Court's decision, but also be closer to Canadian societal mores.
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2021-03-11 16:52 [p.4928]
Madam Speaker, it is really important for anyone who is following the debate to recognize exactly what the Conservative Party has done here.
On the one hand, the Conservatives are saying that they want to have more debate. On the other hand, they are not allowing that additional debate. It makes no sense at all, unless they are using it as a destructive tool in the House against the legislative agenda of the government. To me, that is a fairly pathetic thing to be doing on such important legislation, using this as a tool to frustrate the government.
The Conservatives have been offered the opportunity for additional debate, and on three separate occasions they have said no on the floor of the House of Commons.
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2021-03-11 16:55 [p.4929]
Madam Speaker, it is important that we recognize the motivation of the Conservative Party. We saw their motivation back in December when they started the whole process of delay, and yes, it ultimately did pass and did go to the Senate. It has come back. Now the Conservatives see another opportunity.
In the minds of some Conservatives, I think they are genuine, but the Conservative House leadership team providing leadership on this, I think, is using it as a manipulative tool to frustrate the government's legislative agenda in the House. That is inexcusable.
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2021-02-23 12:17 [p.4428]
Mr. Speaker, I have a couple of quick comments.
We recognize that there have been literally hundreds of hours of debate and discussion on this issue since 2016. We are once again making some changes in response, in good part, to appeal courts, whether the Supreme Court of Canada or Quebec's supreme court. The member, I believe, is not too far off. Is it time that we get this thing through the House of Commons and maybe even reflect on the role that the Parliament of Canada can play in regard to issues like long-term health care standards and mental illnesses?
Could the member expand upon what he believes our role should be?
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2021-02-23 15:51 [p.4462]
Madam Speaker, this has been debated quite extensively. The former prime minister, Stephen Harper, was unable to deal with the issue even though there was a Supreme Court of Canada decision. That ultimately led to a bill being introduced, with debates and standing committees starting at the beginning in 2016. There have literally been thousands of hours of consultation, debates, committees and so forth.
Does the member think it is time to move on?
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2021-02-23 16:42 [p.4469]
Madam Speaker, my friend and colleague demonstrates very clearly that medical assistance in dying is, in fact, very complicated and is a deeply personal issue. I want to thank him for sharing his story with the House.
What I take away from his message is that many people, as they go through the process of life, want to have the option to access MAID. I am wondering if my colleague could expand on why that was one of the most important points, as I could detect, he was trying to emphasize.
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2021-02-23 17:04 [p.4472]
Madam Speaker, I am sure the member is aware that there is an expectation from the court that later this month we will have the new law in place. If it were up to some, this debate could continue for months, if not years.
I wonder if my colleague would agree that it is important, given that we have had court extensions, that we seriously look at meeting this deadline at the end of the month and get the legislation through, recognizing that we literally have had hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of debate in the chamber and the committee rooms. Tens of thousands of Canadians have contributed in one way or another. Should we not be attempting to get this thing through to meet the court deadline?
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2021-02-23 17:23 [p.4474]
Madam Speaker, I am glad to share with members a few thoughts on the very important legislation before us.
I was pleased to see the government, through a unanimous consent motion, attempt to get the consent that would allow us to continue the debate on this legislation. I found it interesting that some members chose not to allow that to take place, and I am somewhat disappointed. If their intent was to have an ongoing debate on this very important issue, we should have seen the unanimous support necessary to allow the debate to continue. One can only imagine the real agenda of the Conservative Party.
I previously asked one of the Conservative members about issues with the court. It has a deadline that has now been extended to, I think, February 26. It is the Superior Court in Quebec. He was asked if he felt there was any obligation for us to pass the legislation, recognizing that it has gone through first reading, second reading, report stage and third reading. This is legislation on an issue that we have been talking about primarily because Stephen Harper could not get the job done back in 2015.
As a direct result of that, since the Prime Minister was elected we have had to deal with this issue. We brought forward legislation, and various forms of consultation took place. If we were to weigh the amount of debate here and in committees and the dialogue on this, it really is incredible. We are talking about literally thousands of hours in committees of the House, the chamber, the Senate and the Senate committees. Every possible aspect of debate has happened.
My worse fear is that now we are going to see the Conservative Party play games to try to use this legislation as a tool to ultimately prevent other bills, such as Bill C-14, from coming to a vote, as the Conservative Party tries to set the House agenda. In essence, it is trying to get the government to go on its hands and knees and beg to try to get things passed through the House. The way the official opposition, the Conservative Party, continues to play an obstructive role inside the House is incredible. In some sort of twisted way, it will say that I am trying to limit debate on this important issue.
I recognize that medical assistance in dying is exceptionally complicated and is a deeply personal issue. That is the reason I believe this debate could go on indefinitely. There are some members within the Conservative caucus who would like that. They would like to see this never come to a vote. There are also some within the Conservative caucus who likely will be voting in favour of it. However, there are some who do not want it and will be voting against it. If it is left up to them, they will continue this debate indefinitely.
In a minority situation, things becomes very difficult. The Conservatives will say they want more debate and will try to justify having additional debate by noting the very significance of the issue we are debating: life and death. That is why if they were genuine in regard to the issue itself and the importance of having debate on it, they would have allowed us to continue debating the issue tonight. However, because they were not prepared to allow that to take place, I am very suspicious that, once again, we are seeing destructive games being play on the floor of the House of Commons on an important issue. This speaks volumes about the leadership of the Conservative Party and their sense of commitment to Canadians in allowing for business to be carried out in a reasonable fashion.
We have opposition days, private member's bills and all sorts of votes that are opposition-oriented. However, the government does have some responsibility too. This legislation is critically important. It is life or death. We are looking for opposition parties to recognize the importance of it and allow it to pass.
With just a few seconds left, I will express to my colleagues in the Conservative Party that if they wanted to debate the issue, they should have allowed the debate to continue tonight. I am disappointed that the Conservative Party has once again chosen the path it has chosen: a very destructive role for the proceedings of the House of Commons.
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-12-10 10:27 [p.3255]
Mr. Speaker, following your advice, I am up for a good question.
During the debate, we have heard a lot about palliative care. I am wondering if the member could share his thoughts on the important role of palliative care. Could he share what he believes, and how he believes the federal government could be playing a stronger role in that area?
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-12-09 15:51 [p.3223]
Madam Speaker, when I look at Bill C-7, what I see is a reflection of the will of tens of thousands of Canadians in all regions of our country. I see reflections that come from the Supreme Court of Canada from six years ago and the many hours of discussions and debates, which are into the hundreds if not thousands, inside the chamber and at committees, in the House of Commons and the Senate. At some point, we need to recognize that, yes, there are going to be arguments on both sides of the issue, but at some point it does need to pass.
Does he not recognize the value of the deadline imposed by the Superior Court of Québec? Does the Conservative Party have any respect for that decision by the Superior Court of Québec?
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-12-09 16:43 [p.3230]
Madam Speaker, I appreciate the member's comments in regard to the issue of calling this “assisted suicide” versus “assisted dying”, because words do matter. They are very important when we talk about this type of legislation. It has a residual effect on the population. It is not an easy decision, and we all know that.
Can the member expand on the importance of words? Also, I was not 100% clear on what the member has decided. What is he doing on this legislation?
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-12-09 17:27 [p.3236]
Madam Speaker, it is a false argument to talk about process being the reason why this legislation is not set to ultimately pass.
I do believe this bill reflects the many years of debate, discussions and consultations that came from the Supreme Court of Canada to the Superior Court of Quebec's most recent decision to literally tens of thousands of Canadians in all regions of our country.
Does the member believe that the Superior Court of Quebec does not have the confidence of the Conservative Party to support this legislation, or at least to allow the legislation to come to a vote so that it could be dealt with before we break?
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