Member Of Parliament for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan

Addressing the Air Canada Act

Before I get on to the main subject of today’s column, I do want to briefly address the issue of the MP pay raise. I do not think MPs needed or need more money. I do not set my own rate of pay. That’s not how it works. Funding decision are made by the majority, and every MP is paid the same amount. Your editor is clearly mistaken if he wishes to hold an opposition MP to account for a decision that I did not make.

 

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Statement by MP Garnett Genuis on euthanasia and assisted suicide

Garnett Genuis, Member of Parliament for Sherwood Park – Fort Saskatchewan and past member of the Special Joint Committee which studied Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide, issued the following statement today on the Liberal government’s tabling of legislation on the issue:

“I have reviewed the legislation tabled this morning to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide and am gravely concerned. This legislation does not protect the conscience rights of healthcare practitioners. The trumpeted ‘safeguards’ are highly subjective and do not provide the necessary certainty that the vulnerable will be protected, and there is no mechanism in this legislation for advance legal review.

 

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MP pushes drunk driving bill

My Conservative colleague Steven Blaney recently brought forward private member’s Bill C-226 to combat drunk driving. This bill will make a real, practical difference on the roads and it will save lives every year. Some of the provisions of the bill may be controversial. But I will still be supporting it.

 

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Federal budget could be better

I want to start this column by acknowledging the tragic passing of one of my Conservative colleagues, Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner MP Jim Hillyer. Jim was an active presence in the last Parliament and will be missed by his colleagues from all side of the House. On Wednesday of this week, MPs cancelled the usual House of Commons proceedings, and instead used the time for a series of moving tributes to a great public servant.

 

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Celebrating the little victories

I am now more than four months into the job of being your Member of Parliament. It has been a real privilege so far, serving in this role and advancing your values and interests in Ottawa.

On a personal level, the work has a lot of ups and downs. There are plenty of “little victories” — moments where I am able to help someone with a personal situation, convince a colleague on some issue, or put ideas on the public record. For example, I’ve had a chance to speak a number of times about the importance of our local energy sector and the need to address Alberta’s economic challenges.

 

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The importance of capital investment

The federal government will be delivering a budget on March 22. The Liberals had promised during the election that the budget deficit would not exceed $10 billion. However, expectations are now that the deficit figure will be between $20 billion and $30 billion. I expect I will be writing another column, or even several columns, on the budget more generally — but one area I will be paying particular attention to is what the budget does with respect to Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance (ACCA).

 

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Speak up on assisted suicide

The subject of death and dying are sensitive issues with which individual families grapple. But over the next four months, life and death are going to have to be part of our national conversation.

 As a result of a recent Supreme Court decision, the government needs to draft new legislation on euthanasia and suicide. Last year, the court ruled in a decision called Carter that the complete prohibition on euthanasia was “over-broad,” because (in their view) a less restrictive regime could still achieve the designated objective of protecting the vulnerable. Some lawyers have argued that a complete prohibition on euthanasia would still be constitutional, if a new law identified a different objective. Even within a more permissive legal regime, there is still a lot of room for debate.

 

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