PHOTO: Cloverdale-Langley City MP John Aldag met with protesters at his constituency office April 27. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)
New MP John Aldag, Cloverdale-Langley City, has had his first protest on Wednesday.
About 40 people gathered at his constituency office at 192nd Street and Fraser Highway lunchtime on April 27 to voice their concerns over assisted dying legislation. The organizing groups were trying to get protests happening at several MP offices.
Aldag joined the protesters outside to listen to what they had to say.
The concerns included imposing the legislation on people such as the elderly and people with disabilities.
“They are going to be targeted,” said John Hof, of United for Life British Columbia.
He noted that the way the legislation is proposed, groups could not mount challenges in particular cases of a vulnerable person.
They also contend the legislation amounts to a slippery slope.
“The door gets opened wider and wider and wider,” said Natalie Sonnen, a director with the organization LifeCanada.
As well the protesters spoke of medical personnel being forced to perform assisted suicide and the concern that non-medical personnel are able to assist with dying, as the legislation is written. Sonnen said that opens the door to people killing others and claiming the dead person wanted it.
The protesters said asked that Aldag vote his conscience not the party line.
PHOTO: About 40 people were at the constituency office of Cloverdale-Langley City MP John Aldag to voice concerns about the assisted dying legislation. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)
Aldag said he is slated to speak about the bill in the House of Commons on May 2 and he shares some concerns.
He, along with Langley-Aldergrove MP Mark Warawa, chaired the federal Special Joint Committee on Physician-Assisted Dying which toured the country to gain public input.
He said that due to the Supreme Court ruling, Canada must come up with legislation on assisted dying but he would like to see amendments.
“Like you, I want to see this done right,” he said.
The legislation should be intended for use only by consenting adults with safeguards in place, he said.
“Protections for the vulnerable is absolutely essential,” Aldag said.
The federal government plans to put more resources into palliative care so people don’t have to think of assisted dying as their only option when they are terminally or seriously ill.
“Having non-medical personnel involved is a concern to me,” he added.
He welcomed the protesters to return to his office to stay updated on the legislation as it makes its way through the process.
Hof noted that the protests continue May 12 in Victoria because while the federal government makes the assisted dying legislation, the province oversees its administration.
PHOTO: Tamara Jansen, of the Association for Reformed Political Action, presented a petition to MP John Aldag. The 65 signatories back Bill C-225, the protection of pregnant women and unborn children act. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)