Speech – 2021.05.07 – Bill C-210 – Organ & Tissue Donation


Bill C-210 – Organ & Tissue Donation

May 7, 2021

Mr. Len Webber (Calgary Confederation, CPC): Mr. Speaker, as you know very well Mr. Speaker, it was mentioned numerous times today that this Bill got its second chance in this Parliament when my name was drawn first in the Private Members Bill lottery, and it was you Mr. Speaker that drew that name out of the hat and so I owe you big time Mr. Speaker, so thank you sincerely.  This exact Bill was first introduced in the last parliament as Bill C-316 and it passed unanimously at all stages, but unfortunately it died in the Senate when the 2019 election was called.

So here we are today, this Bill, now C-210, also enjoyed the same unanimous support at all stages. Hopefully, this time round, an election won’t be called before the Senate has the opportunity to pass this into law.

There are so many people to thank, I don’t even know where to begin.  First and foremost, my assistant Terence Scheltema.  His help throughout this whole process has been immense and I thank him sincerely.

Of course the Member from Oakville North – Burlington, the Member for Vancouver Kingsway and the Member for Courtenay—Alberni who kindly helped on my behalf to ensure unanimity and a quick passage.

I thank my colleagues who I served with on the health committee who really went above and beyond to ensure that the organ donation question be on the front page of the income tax form. It was clearly identified at committee that they want this question on the front page of the income tax form, along with the Elections Canada question. I thank them sincerely for that. I thank the 20 members from all parties who seconded my bill and the ones who spoke on this bill throughout the entire process. I thank them all sincerely.

To the 20 Members, from all Parties, who seconded my Bill and the ones who spoke on this Bill throughout the process… Thank you sincerely.

There are also some special people behind the scenes that made this Bill a reality and did some of the heavy lifting and careful navigation through the process.  Procedural Clerks Marie-France Renaud, Caroline Massicotte and Isabelle Dumas, and Legislative Counsel Nathalie Caron and Sylvie Bednar.

I also want to thank three government staff in particular for their non-partisan assistance and co-operation: Ministerial assistants Janick Cormier and Christina Lazarova, and Parliamentary Assistant Christopher Lalande.

As I have mentioned in this House before, my inspiration for this Bill was Karen Korchinski and my late friend Robert Sallows.

I pray the day will never come where Karen will need that liver transplant, but if she does then perhaps the chances of getting one will be that much better.

Robert Sallows, a double-lung recipient who sadly passed away just before my Bill C-316 passed in the House in 2018.  We need to get this Bill passed so that we can finally tell Robert we finished the job for him.  He fought so hard to help others also get that second chance at life and we need to finish this for him.

Finally, I want to thank the many, many Canadians who have shared their personal stories with me along this journey.  Some were tragic, some were remarkable, but all of them came from the heart.

So let’s not delay this any longer Mr. Speaker.  Everything that needs to be said has been said. It’s time to get Canada’s Organ & Tissue procurement system on track and give hope to the thousands of Canadians awaiting a transplant.

Thank you Mr. Speaker.