From the Hill

Dan Albas is the Conservative member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola

With Prime Minister Justin 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.

This week the government tabled two new bills — 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 came about after a Quebec court ruled that the existing 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 to be eligible for medical assistance in dying.

It also proposes 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.

What are the priorities you would like to see coming forward in Parliament?