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Results: 61 - 75 of 304
View Kelly Block Profile
Madam Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to speak on Bill C-7, an act to amend the Criminal Code regarding medical assistance in dying, which was introduced earlier this week and dramatically expands the existing euthanasia regime in Canada.
This bill was introduced in response to a ruling made September 11, 2019, where the Superior Court of Quebec found, in Truchon versus the Attorney General of Canada, that it was unconstitutional to limit access to medical assistance in dying to people nearing the end of life.
I believe it is completely unacceptable that the government did not appeal the Truchon decision to the Supreme Court. Truchon struck down vital protections for vulnerable Canadians that the Liberal government put in place less than five years ago. Appealing this decision would have allowed us to get certainty on the framework within which Parliament can legislate.
The summary of the bill states that it amends the Criminal Code to:
among other things,
(a) repeal the provision that requires a person's natural death to be reasonably foreseeable in order for them to be eligible for medical assistance in dying...
It excludes mental health as an eligible reason to receive assisted suicide. It creates two sets of safeguards that must be respected before medical assistance in dying may be provided, which differ in application depending on whether death is reasonably foreseeable. It also creates an advance directive wherein a medical practitioner can proceed with assisted suicide without consent immediately before administering it, assuming all other criteria are met and the patient enters into an arrangement in writing with a medical practitioner or a nurse practitioner to cause death on a specified day.
While these changes are significant, it is the other things where I will focus most of my attention. In responding to Bill C-14 in the last Parliament and now to this bill, it has always been our priority, on this side of the House, to ensure that legislation permitting euthanasia and assisted suicide includes safeguards for the most vulnerable in our society, as well as for the conscience rights of physicians and allied health professionals.
Of all the proposed changes, I am most concerned about the removal of the 10-day waiting period. This was not a change mandated by Truchon. Rather, it is a deliberate choice by the Liberal government to strike down one of the most important safeguards for vulnerable people facing uncertain medical prognoses.
Nearly every one of us can think of someone in their lives, perhaps a friend, a grandparent or even a spouse, who has received a serious diagnosis. The emotional impact of hearing that news can be overwhelming for both the patients and their families. It can cause depression, anxiety and a great fear of the unknown.
I am sure many of us can also think of people we know who have received terminal diagnoses and went on to beat their illness and live for years afterwards. However, with the safeguard of a 10-day waiting period gone, such stories may be fewer and farther between.
Without having to take the time to come to terms with their situation, to speak to their families and to learn about treatment options from their doctors, many people will make emotional decisions based on fear.
Another amendment removes the need for two independent witnesses and allows health care workers to act as witnesses. People may not even hear another voice offering a different solution.
By making these changes, we diminish the extremely important role legislators play in contemplating all of the unintended outcomes and consequences and then protecting against them. We know very well that the current euthanasia regime has serious problems, that it has been abused and that it has been used as a tool of desperation after the failures of government.
Sean Tagert suffered from an advanced case of ALS that left him completely paralyzed, unable to speak and reliant on a ventilator. Despite these challenges, Tagert fought to stay alive so he could watch his son, whom he spoke of in lengthy Facebook posts, grow up.
Sean required 24-hour in-home medical assistance to stay alive. Initially the health care system provided him only 15 hours, leaving Sean to somehow pay hundreds of dollars each day. Eventually, even that was too much for the health authority. Health care authorities told Sean that he would no longer receive funding for home care, leaving as his only option institutional care at a facility hours away, separated from family and removed from the son he called his reason for living.
Sean appealed, but to no avail. He was going to lose his home care. Mr. Tagert fought long and hard for the rights of persons with disabilities and their families but in the end, he was driven by his desperate circumstances to believe that assisted suicide was his only option. He was “worn out”, in his own words. On August 6, 2019, he ended his life.
I am going to read from the statement his family posted at that time:
We would ask, on Sean's behalf, that the government recognize the serious problems in its treatment of ALS patients and their families, and find real solutions for those already suffering unimaginably.
“Real solutions” does not mean removing the safeguards for those who are the most vulnerable. It means providing true alternatives, be that palliative care, in-home care or the unique care needed.
It is not enough to simply put in legislation as we find here in proposed paragraph 241.2(3.1)(g), under Safeguards:
...[to] ensure that the person has been informed of the means available to relieve their suffering, including, where appropriate, counselling services, mental health and disability support services, community services and palliative care and has been offered consultations with relevant professionals who provide those services or...care.
If we have no intention of ensuring that those services are being funded or are even available, we have failed.
I note that the current federal government broke a key election commitment to invest $3 billion in long-term care, including palliative care. Access to palliative care is an essential part of end-of-life decision making. That point has been made over and over during this debate.
People should never be put in a position where they believe death is the only solution available to them. We are, and we must be, better than that. We must protect every human life with a jealousy born of the knowledge that each person is unique, and has an innate dignity that nothing, not time, not illness nor disability, can ever take away.
View Kelly Block Profile
Madam Speaker, I would suggest that one of the safeguards that I feel should have been left in the legislation was the 10-day period of reflection. I think that was very important to leave in this legislation, as I mentioned in my remarks.
The observations have already been made that this could be waived, and I recognize that. However, I think any time we can keep a safeguard in place that allows individuals that sober second thought, we should do that.
View Kelly Block Profile
Madam Speaker, I do not think there was a question there. However, my hon. colleague made some observations about whether access to MAID has increased in her province.
I will state again something I said in the remarks I made. I believe it is incumbent upon legislators, who have been given the very important role of putting legislation in place, to always look at legislation to understand and try to address any unintended consequences and then protect against them. Leaving safeguards in place that do not unduly create duress should be the route we choose to take.
View Kelly Block Profile
Madam Speaker, when Bill C-14 was introduced in the previous Parliament, the decision was made to not include advance directives. I think that was purposeful. Had we been allowed to deal with the issues that the Truchon case identified and keep all of these other issues in mind for the statutory review that is being contemplated, it would have allowed us far more time to look at the legislation, see what was and was not working and have a timely and comprehensive study of Bill C-14.
View Andrew Scheer Profile
Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister still does not seem to realize that Teck Frontier pulled its decision to invest billions of dollars into the Canadian economy because of a situation that he has created. He is directly responsible for the loss of 7,000 jobs.
This application went through an independent analysis. It was approved by the independent regulator, and all that was left was his political approval. Why did this application sit on his desk since July?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is trying to blame everybody else. First he blamed global commodity prices, but that cannot be true because there are investments pouring into Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United States. He tried to blame the Alberta government. His Liberal government gave equivalency to the Alberta emitters regime. Then he tried to blame Stephen Harper. I guess he forgets that he has been Prime Minister for almost five years now.
He cannot blame Scott Brison, so will he finally take responsibility for his failure on this file?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
Mr. Speaker, he has the same environmental plan that he has for his jobs plan: no action on either one. He has a balanced approach. He is failing on the environment and he is failing to get jobs built, so I congratulate him on that one.
When it comes to having a real plan, I want to read a quote that says, “We don’t have a net-zero plan. We have got to work on it, that’s for sure.” Do members know who said that? It was the Liberal Minister of Natural Resources.
Will the Prime Minister admit that it is his lack of action and lack of a plan that is causing the hardship all over western Canada?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
Mr. Speaker, that simply cannot be true because people are pulling investments out of Canada because he does not have a plan for either the environment or the economy.
In terms of inventing things, that was a direct quote from his Minister of Natural Resources, so he might want to check with him on that.
For three weeks, we witnessed the Prime Minister's weak leadership in response to the rail blockades. They sprang up across the country, blocking streets, ports and railways. They are negatively impacting workers who want to get to work.
Does he realize that his own weakness is the reason this situation is “out of control”?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
Mr. Speaker, he is continuing to elevate radical protestors with no connections to indigenous issues. That is shameful.
These are not people who are reflecting the will of the Wet'suwet'en First Nation. If they did, they would be standing in solidarity and fighting to get this project built. These are radical groups, like Extinction Rebellion, an organization that has been listed as a terrorist organization in the United Kingdom.
Is the Prime Minister not embarrassed that he has shown less leadership and less of a backbone than radical protestors who just want to shut down our economy?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
Mr. Speaker, there is a dire situation across the Prairies. I met with farmers in Saskatchewan who are facing an urgent cash flow crisis. Actions by China are blocking canola exports and, of course, the Liberal carbon tax is putting a squeeze on their bottom line. Early snowfall has prevented the harvest from being completely taken off. As a result, loans are due in a short period of time and farmers do not have the cash flow to plant this season's crops.
Is the Prime Minister willing to consider extending the advance payments program deadline, waiving interest on its loans and looking for other types of solutions that will ensure that farmers have what they need to get a crop in the ground this spring?
View Kelly Block Profile
Mr. Speaker, the Iranian regime has found a new way to persecute members of the Baha'i faith, by requiring Iranians to declare their religion on their national ID cards but only providing four options.
No other religions are allowed, including Baha'i, the largest minority religion in Iran. Without one of these cards, Iranians cannot access government services, book a flight or even purchase a car.
Will the government call on the Iranian regime to end this and all other discriminations against the Baha'i faith?
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2020-02-26 15:48 [p.1617]
moved for leave to introduce Bill C-233, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (sex-selective abortion).
She said: Mr. Speaker, in Canada we value human rights and equality. At home and around the world, we are known for our voice in championing equality between men and women, between girls and boys. We as legislators in the House of Commons have the responsibility to act on behalf of Canadians on an issue that is widely condemned and flies in the face of equality between the sexes.
I am pleased to introduce my private member's bill, the sex-selective abortion act, and I thank the member for Battlefords—Lloydminster for seconding the bill.
It is true that the majority of Canadians agree with having access to abortions. It is also true that 84% of Canadians stand against sex-selection abortions.
I look forward to debate in the House.
View Randy Hoback Profile
View Randy Hoback Profile
2020-02-26 15:50 [p.1617]
moved for leave to introduce Bill C-234, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (home security measures).
He said: Mr. Speaker, I am truly honoured today to rise to introduce the bill.
Before I do, I would like to thank the many residents in my constituency who have reached out to me and provided input on this very important matter. I would also like to thank the member for Red Deer—Lacombe for his guidance and leadership and for seconding the bill. I would also like to thank the Conservative caucus for its support in moving this file forward.
Like many constituents in rural Canada, my constituents in Prince Albert are being ravaged by increasing crime rates. During the last Parliament, the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security recognized that crime in rural areas was a growing concern and that rural crime rates in both eastern and western Canada were increasing.
The bill I am introducing today would create a non-refundable tax credit for home security measures. It would also assist rural residents in purchasing the home security they need to protect themselves, their families and their property. While it is not a complete solution, it is a step in the right direction, a step that individual legislators can take together to begin addressing this problem.
View Jeremy Patzer Profile
Mr. Speaker, one of the things that my constituents have expressed to me, when we have a conversation around MAID, is that palliative care gets put on the back burner when we are talking about MAID. Rather than investing in palliative care for people who deserve high-quality palliative care, they would instead be offered MAID as an alternative. I am wondering if the member would be willing to share with the House if his constituents had expressed the same concern.
View Rosemarie Falk Profile
Mr. Speaker, as we know, Canada's farmers are leaders in agriculture. They are innovative, good stewards of the land and they feed Canada and the world.
The success of our farmers is vital to all Canadians, but the reality is that they are struggling right now. In large part, that is because the Liberal government is failing them. The illegal blockades across this country are holding our Canadian economy hostage and this includes our farmers. Our farmers are not able to get their products to market because of the ongoing, illegal blockades.
The Prime Minister's leadership is failing them in this crisis. For weeks, the Prime Minister has sat on his hands, emboldening activists and still today, there is no plan to end these blockades.
Just the other day I spoke to Brandon, a constituent in my riding who is in dire straits. The local grain elevator is so backlogged that he cannot make arrangements to get his grain to market in March. His farm operations depend on the income of that sale. His ability to keep the heat on in his house and feed his family also depends on the income of that sale. The banks are not offering any relief. Where does he turn? Unfortunately, Brandon's story is not unique.
The bills are mounting for our farmers, and every day that they cannot get their product to market puts them further and further behind. This economic crisis created by these illegal blockades is just the latest. Our farmers are constantly finding themselves at the losing end of the government's failures. Trade relations and opportunities have deteriorated and the Liberal carbon tax is bankrupting our farmers. Eliminating the Liberal carbon tax is a real, tangible action they could take today to deliver relief to our farmers.
In question period, I asked the Prime Minister to fully exempt our farmers from the carbon tax. I also asked him if he would finally acknowledge that his carbon tax unfairly punishes our rural communities and our farmers. The Prime Minister's response was that Canadians were better off with his carbon tax and that he was putting more money in their pockets. That is completely ludicrous. If $100 is taken out of someone's pocket and $1 is put back in, they are not better off.
No one is naive enough to believe that. It shows that the Prime Minister is either not listening, he does not understand the realities of rural Saskatchewan or that he does not care. Maybe it is all of the above. Regardless, my constituents of Battlefords—Lloydminster are owed better.
The Liberal carbon tax does not acknowledge the reality of living in rural Saskatchewan, it does not acknowledge the contributions of our farmers to environmental sustainability and certainly the Liberal household carbon rebates given to farm families do not even come close to offsetting the taxes paid by their farm businesses.
Farmers in Saskatchewan are paying the carbon tax on everything from drying grain to hauling crops to machinery to rail transportation and so many other major farm expenses. Unlike other industries, farmers and producers cannot pass along the added expense. It is a direct hit to their bottom line.
This year, they are losing 8% of their total net income and in less than two years, that number will be 12% of their net income. Those numbers are astronomical and will drive our family farm businesses into the ground. Blow after blow, our farmers are taking hits and they are desperate. I sure hope we will hear a different answer.
How does the Liberal government expect farmers to put food on their own tables, let alone the tables of Canadians?
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