A tired, but happy, Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen says his Bill to protect medical professionals, who choose not to participate in medical assistance in dying, is now law in Manitoba. The bill passed Third Reading Thursday night and Lieutenant Governor gave Royal Assent to Bill 34 at 4:15 a.m. Friday as the Manitoba Legislature wrapped up its Spring Sitting. Goertzen says this is a major accomplishment for something that is very important to him and many others.
"It's very dear to my heart and, I think, many others as well. The whole issue around medical assistance in dying is a difficult issue so I brought forward, as Health Minister, legislation that would protect those who are involved in the medical profession to say that they would be protected, there could be no employment consequences from them not participating. And really, it passed because we received about 15,000 letters from Manitobans who said this is important. Also, many doctors, nurses and pharmacists came forward and spoke at committee in favour of the bill."
Goertzen says Manitoba is now a leader in Canada in protecting the rights of medical professionals in this area. He is hoping that other provinces will follow suit.
Other bills that were approved this session include the budget, one that creates more freedom for marketing of fish and another that opens the door for ride-hailing services such as Uber and gives municipalities authority over the vehicle-for-hire industry.