Last week the BC Liberals pushed motion 31 forward requesting debates to resume on Bill 36 Health Professions and Occupations Act.
The description of motion 31 is “Be it resolved that this House listens to health care professionals who are deeply concerned with the lack of scrutiny of Bill (No. 36) Health Professions and Occupations Act and its implications.”
Shirley Bond says that all BC MLA’s have had thousands of healthcare professionals in British Columbia with serious concerns and questions about what Bill 36 will mean for their profession.
BC Liberals accuse the NDP of “shutting down debate” and hiding from scrutiny of the bill.
BC Liberal MLA Bond mentioned the BC Liberal caucus push forward three weeks prior “to empower the select standing committee on health to examine the Health Professions and occupations act and make recommendations” for almost half of the sections in the bill that were not debated last November.
The BC NDP voted against the motion that would open their policy to the democratic process of being scrutinized by the opposition and the people it will impact, patients and health professionals.
“The changes made to the structure of Health Care regulatory colleges in Bill 36 are some of the most significant in our province’s history” Bond said, stating they “should not come into force before they have gone through review and debate in this legislature.”
Shutting down debates to on legislation and refusing to allow opposition parties to scrutinize it is “damaging to the Democratic process” said Bond adding “frankly it is bad for the people of British Columbia who depend on us in this house to do the work here in their best interest”
Rustad posted a video on Facebook saying he was surprised the BC Liberals push forward a motion to bring Bill 36 back to a debate in a committee. Rustad backs the motion and welcomes conversations to open up debate on the sections that have not yet been debated.
“In principle I support this” said Rustad.
Rustad believes more discussion around the bill and more people being aware of what it’s all about is a good thing and urged the BC Liberals to sign the petition and show the BC NDP it’s serious about debating the health professionals act in the interest of the public and health professionals.
He also asks the public to sign the petition to show the BC NDP the public deserves the to know how the bill will impact the way they receive healthcare and how medical professionals provide healthcare.
In the Legislature on March 27, 2023, BC MLA John Rustad stood up with a statement in support of the motion put forward by the BC Liberal caucus to debate Bill 36.
The MLA for the Nechako Lakes riding expressed concerns he has heard about Bill 36 from individuals all over British Columbia.
Rustad told the legislature he has been travelling B.C. to rallies about Bill 36 to speak with people that show up to the events being held for a petition to repeal bill 36.
He read a quote from the Canadian Society for Science & Ethics in Medicine (CSSEM) website that reflects the same concerns that the legislation process has been undemocratic but gets into more details about what sections of the bill that need the most scrutiny such as unelected government bureaucrats replacing elected health professions as college boards.
There’s also a fear of patients not being able to get a second opinion from another doctor if it doesn’t align with the governments “standardized” practice and treatments which could limit the type of care individuals receive. You can also read more about Bill 36 in a BC Rise article here.