Albas: MP supports assisted dying bill, because constituents want it

I supported Bill C-14 after…hearing lots of direct comments and concerns from the citizens of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.

Dan AlbasIn my May 25th MP report I speculated on how recent efforts to reform the Senate to become more politically independent could result in the Senate causing significant delays to government bills that could in turn have the effect of slowing down Parliament.

As was speculated, Bill C-14, the medical assistance in dying bill, left the House of Commons and it now appears that potentially significant delays could occur to this legislation in the Red Chamber. At issue is that the Senate is in the process of amending the bill while at the same time the government has indicated its belief that the bill is fine as is, setting the stage for a potential stand-off.

As these stand-offs are somewhat uncommon there is an emerging debate from those who believe that unelected senators should not be able to derail the legislation of democratically elected Members of Parliament while others point out that the Senate is simply fulfilling its role to provide “sober second thought” to legislation. From my perspective a more independent Senate may well continue to produce more of these types of stand-offs to the extent that the government may want to further refine its current approach to Senate reform.

Ultimately there is no parliamentary procedure that exists where government can force the Senate to pass a bill that is not supported. It is for this reason that historically a prime minister will appoint senators who are members of the government caucus to help ensure that a democratically elected government is able to achieve the mandate voters elected them on. In this instance there may be an official conference between the House of Commons and the Senate to try and reach an agreement between the two chambers on Bill C-14. It has been reported that a conference of this type has not been hosted in Parliament for roughly 70 years.

My thoughts on this current impasse? Given the magnitude and importance of a bill like C-14 it is critically important this legislation receives extensive scrutiny between the two chambers in the hopes the bill can encompass more of the concerns expressed by the public to both parliamentarians and senators alike. Ultimately bills, once passed into law, will also be subject to scrutiny from our Supreme Court and many have suggested that Bill C-14 may well be headed in this direction.

For the record: I supported Bill C-14 after extensive consultations with constituents through my MP reports, several town halls and hearing lots of direct comments and concerns from the citizens of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola. Although not everyone was supportive of this bill, I committed that I would listen to constituents and the vast majority I heard from were in support of the bill in recognizing the decision of the Supreme Court to legalize medical assistance in dying.

Finally, a reminder that I am now operating a mobile constituency service in Merritt, at the municipal hall on the first Tuesday of each month. As I will be adding additional mobile office service throughout our riding for information please go to my website:


Just Posted

Witnesses for Westside Road crash sought

The RCMP appeal for witnesses to come forward as they continue to investigate

Sexual assault case against Peachland man nears conclusion

Crown nearing end of case for Peachland man accused of sexually assaulting two women while the slept

Kelowna pot dispensary lawyer advising client to shut down

Lawyer says dispensaries are currently ‘100 per cent illegal’

Kelowna cop finds stolen tires

Officer stumbles across tires while searching for a suspect in unrelated case

New development in missing plane near Revelstoke

The family of Ashley Bourgeault believe they have found a new clue

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Cougar window shops at Banff grocery store

An RCMP officer spots a cougar outside an Alberta grocery store

Police fear fewer fentanyl imports don’t signal the end of the overdose crisis

RCMP say it’s just as likely that criminal are getting more clever

UPDATE: Two people die in ATV accident south of Campbell River

Third person survived attempt to cross a creek

Letter: Peachland is a beautiful town but it needs to grow

Upcoming public hearing surrounding Peachland’s OCP is drawing attention

Lawyers slam ‘de facto expulsion’ of student guilty of sexual interference

Calgary student guilty of sexual assault of a minor allowed to finish semester

B.C. NDP set to restructure union bargaining

School trustees to regain control over employer group

$130K could get you on a dive to the Titanic

Hot summer ticket: $130K could get you on a dive to the Titanic off Newfoundland

UK’s Princess Eugenie, daughter of Prince Andrew, engaged

Princess Eugenie, the daughter of Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, will marry Jack Brooksbank in Autumn 2018

Most Read