LOCAL MP SAYS QUESTIONS NEED TO BE ASKED AHEAD OF JUNE ASSISTED DYING LEGISLATION
CENTRAL OKANAGAN - Opposition MP Dan Albas says his latest report on physician-assisted dying is just about trying to start a conversation with constituents on how he should vote, not about flaunting his personal views on the subject.
“I believe in triggering these discussions. This is how the system is supposed to work,” Albas says. “We’re trying to ask good questions. We’re supposed to have the people closest to the problems give the answers and then it bubbles up to Ottawa."
Released to constituents yesterday, the deeply conservative Albas writes of a severly disabled constituent who opposes the legalization of assisted suicide because it will 'create an easy option' for people with disabilities to end their own lives and the burden they have become to family and friends.
Those that don’t take that option, Albas writes, will feel intense guilt for continuing on, and those who choose physician-assisted death, may do so reluctantly.
The newsletter comes on the heels of a meeting the MP for Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola attended Sunday in Princeton and ahead of a public meeting he’s holding tonight in Peachland where he will again broach the delicate subject with anyone who shows up.
Albas says the report is a rerun from February 2015 (when his party still formed the government) but that new riding boundaries mean not all constituents have seen it.
“I have received more substantial feedback from a wider range of people than I ever have before,” he says. “Most are in favour, by the way."
Albas vows he will vote the way the majority of his constituents tell him to vote when the federal Liberal government tables legislation in June.
That’s the extension the Supreme Court of Canada gave in January to the federal government to enact legislation around physician assisted dying.
Albas sidestipped the question of where his own views lie, saying this:
“Everyone has had a situation where a family member or friend has suffered, and some think needlessly. But people are also saying we are not providing options for mental illness, not providing enough options for palliative care, so people can get help when they need it, the assistance when they need it most.”
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