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View Don Davies Profile
NDP (BC)
I couldn't agree more with Dr. Powlowski. He's absolutely right.
Studies generally begin with a briefing by the minister. That's the first meeting. You haven't even heard from any witnesses before that happens. You get that briefing, and then that leaves a second meeting at which you have two witnesses in the first hour and two in the second. Is that seriously what the Conservatives are suggesting should be allocated for witness meetings on a topic as important as palliative care?
Nobody in this room is talking about wanting to take inordinate amounts of time, wasting our time with witnesses or on hearing repetitive or redundant evidence. Nobody wants that. What we want is, as was said, to do justice to the issue.
I'm trying to think. I'm not sure I remember this correctly, but out of maybe 50 studies I've been involved in, I don't recall a limit ever being put on the meetings for the study itself. There might have been a couple where there was something discrete. I think we should decide what we want to study. I think everybody is interested in studying palliative care: my friend from the Bloc has a motion on it, and the Conservatives have moved my motion. I think it's really important, because of the physician-assisted dying issue that's going to be coming before us, that all of us agree that we want to improve palliative care, but we'll want to hear from patients. We'll want to hear from palliative care providers. We'll want to hear from the public. I can see this easily taking four to six meetings with witnesses.
Again, I want to reassure everybody that if it gets to the point where we're hearing repetitive testimony or it's redundant or we feel we have a good handle on it, we're open at any time to say, “We've had the evidence we need. Let's proceed to write the report.”
I think that's the spirit in which we should be approaching this.
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