With Prime Minister Trudeau having prorogued Parliament, a situation was created where the government must now start over in submitting bills and legislation through the House of Commons.
This is also an important process because it indicates what the government views as important priorities for Canadians.
This week the government tabled two new bills into the House of Commons.
Bill C-6 'An Act to amend the Criminal Code (to ban conversion therapy)' and,
Bill C-7 'An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying).'
Bill C-6 defines conversion therapy as therapy that “aims to change an individual’s sexual orientation to heterosexual, to repress or reduce non-heterosexual attraction or sexual behaviours, or to change an individual’s gender identity to match the sex they were assigned at birth.”
This bill proposes five new criminal code offences that include: “causing a minor to undergo conversion therapy, removing a minor from Canada to undergo conversion therapy abroad, causing a person to undergo conversion therapy against their will, profiting from providing conversion therapy and advertising an offer to provide conversion therapy”.
Bill C-7 has come about after a Quebec court ruled that the, previously passed into law, medically assisted dying legislation was unconstitutional because it is too restrictive.
More specifically the requirement that only people who are facing "foreseeable death" can receive aid to die is considered to narrow of a criteria.
It has also been argued this can lead to a situation where there is additional pain and suffering.
The new bill proposes several changes, some of those include: removing the requirement for a person’s natural death to be reasonably foreseeable in order to be eligible for medical assistance in dying.
It is also proposed to introduce “a two-track approach to procedural safeguards based on whether or not a person’s natural death is reasonably foreseeable.”
At the same time it is proposed that “existing safeguards will be maintained and certain ones will be eased for eligible persons whose death is reasonably foreseeable.”
There will be “new and modified safeguards will be introduced for eligible persons whose death is not reasonably foreseeable”.
I should add that it is the intent of the new proposed legislation to exclude eligibility for individuals who suffering solely from mental illness.
In addition, there will be some proposed changes to the waiver process.
My question this week:
What are the priorities you would like to see coming forward in Parliament?
I can be reached at Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca or call toll free 1-800-665-8711.
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Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.