2020.12.01 – Speech – Bill C-210
Bill C-210 – Organ & Tissue Donation – 2nd Reading, 2nd Hour
December 1, 2020
Mr. Len Webber (Calgary Confederation, CPC): Madam Speaker, I must say that I am very pleased with what I heard this afternoon and also in the first hour of second reading just a few weeks ago. I would like to thank all the members who spoke on this bill.
From the very beginning, my goal with this bill was to avoid making it a partisan, political debate. In fact, in the last Parliament, and this one as well, I have been genuinely touched by the multi-partisan support this bill has received. From what I have seen so far, Canadians should feel proud that when a sensible idea does come forward in the House of Commons, we can put politics aside to improve the lives of Canadians and, in this case, to save the lives of many who are waiting for that life-saving organ donation.
My bill will go to a vote, and I am quite hopeful after what I have heard that it will be supported. I certainly hope so, anyways. It was supported unanimously in the last Parliament, before it eventually died in the Senate with the election call in 2019. I will call on my MP colleagues to please show their desire to improve our organ and tissue donation procurement system here in Canada, and to vote in favour of this bill.
I am confident that Canada is on the verge of setting a new global standard for how to reach potential organ donors. Each of us in this House can play a role in that step forward.
However, we do need to find a way to expedite this bill as it makes it way, first, if it passes tomorrow, to the health committee, then back to the House for a final vote, and then off to the Senate. I would welcome the support of all parties in the House in this regard and in whatever we can do to expedite this process. Who knows, there could be an election call at any time, and that would once again kill this bill. It happened before and it could happen again. That would be a shame.
I must thank the hon. member for Calgary Centre for graciously giving me his private member’s bill time slot here today so that we could move this bill through the process quicker. Believe it or not, I was not scheduled to be up again for the second hour of second reading of this bill until the end of January or into February. I thank the hon. member for Calgary Centre profusely and sincerely. I know he sees the value of this bill, and the importance of getting it passed and implemented expeditiously.
I would also like to thank many of my former colleagues on the health committee, in particular the member for Oakville North—Burlington, who was the parliamentary secretary at that time. She has provided incredible support for this bill and has lobbied on my behalf within her own caucus. As well, I would like to thank the member for Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, the chair of the health committee, and the member for Vancouver Kingsway, also a member of the health committee, and many members in my own caucus, too. They have all gone out of their way to show their support for my bill and to advocate for its swift passage. That has meant a lot to me.
I would also like to thank the 20 members of Parliament from all political parties in the House of Commons who have seconded my bill. It really would be tragic if this bill were to die before it fully passed into law yet again. It is my hope that every one of my colleagues will speak with those they know to help ensure the timely passage of this legislation.
In closing, I have one final ask of my MP colleagues. Over the Christmas break, I implore all MPs to have a conversation with their family about organ donation, and to please express their wishes clearly to them and find out what their wishes are. Even through these COVID-19 pandemic days, donating blood in Canada remains safe. The Canadian Blood Services and Héma-Québec have robust cleaning, infection control and screening practices in place to protect all donors, staff and volunteers. Please donate some blood during the holiday season. There is no greater gift than blood donation