This week is another busy one in Ottawa with large a number of Bills up for debate or votes as well as a motion from the NDP. Thalidomide was a drug briefly approved by Health Canada in 1961 that was intended to provide relief from nausea and other morning sickness related symptoms among pregnant women. Unfortunately this drug turned out to have very catastrophic consequences– even death. For those surviving babies some commonly occurring birth defects include deafness, blindness, disfigurement, cleft palate, and many other internal disabilities. Today there are fewer than 100 survivors in Canada.
The NDP motions on Thalidomide read as follows:
“That, in the opinion of the House: (a) full support should be offered to survivors of Thalidomide; (b) the urgent need to defend the rights and dignity of those affected by Thalidomide should be recognized; and (c) the government should provide support to survivors, as requested by the Thalidomide Survivors Taskforce.”
This was a motion that I supported and in fact was supported by all Members of Parliament that will ensure survivors of Thalidomide are provided much needed supports for the challenges they face on a daily basis.
Also occurring this week is continued debate on Bill C-43 The Economic Action Plan budget bill for 2014 and a number of private members bills including Bill C-628— An Act to amend the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 and the National Energy Board Act (oil transportation and pipeline certificate) Bill and Bill C-524 — An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act (election advertising) there will also be a private bill from the Senate Bill S-213— An Act respecting Lincoln Alexander Day.
On a local note I would like to thank the citizens who came out for our Penticton Elected officials forum. This was a worthwhile venue and I appreciated the opportunity to hear concerns and also to meet some of our newly elected members of council. I am currently in the process of organizing more of these events in other parts of Okanagan-Coquihalla. As next week will be the final week in Ottawa before the house breaks for the holidays I will soon be back in the riding and available for meetings. To arrange an appointment or to pass on other comments or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me at Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca or toll free at 1-800-665-8711.
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Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament elect for Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.