OTTAWA- The success of establishing a pan-Canadian palliative care strategy will come down to the willingness of individual MPs to stand up for the issue. The New Democratic Party has thrown its weight behind Motion M-456 but Timmins-James Bay MP Charlie Angus believes that, in order to be successful, the Liberal caucus will need to come on board along with 25 individual Conservative MPs.
“I don’t want to be crass about it, but the success of a national palliative care initiative in Parliament will be a numbers game. Will enough individual Liberal and Conservatives stand up and support the motion? This is an important opportunity for the public to engage with their MPs and tell them they want them to put the national vision of palliative care ahead of political concerns.”
Angus says he is confident that the palliative motion can still succeed because the motion will be subject to a free vote. In 2011, 30 Conservative MPs signed on to a report calling for a national palliative care strategy. If 25 of them show up to vote in the House the motion will succeed. So far, Angus has received assurances that 5 Conservative MPs are on board.
“I will continue to speak with Conservative and Liberal MPs on the importance of Parliament speaking up on palliative care. I think what will be even more important is for citizens across the country to speak with their local MPs to ensure they do the right thing.”
The Conservative MP’s who recommended a national strategy on palliative care in 2011 are: Harold Albrecht, Kelly Block, Lois Brown, James Bezan, Pat Davidson, Maurice Vellacott, Gordon Brown, Larry Miller, John Weston, Mike Wallace, Peter Braid, Earl Dreeshen, Garry Breitkreuz, Peter Kent, Rick Norlock, Candice Bergen, Pierre Lemieux, David Sweet, Ron Cannan, Brad Trost, Bernard Trottier, Blake Richards, Stella Ambler, Stephen Woodworth, Randy Kamp, Chris Warkentin, James Lunney, Joy Smith, Bev Shipley, Wladyslaw Lizon, Dave Van Kesteren, Mark Strahl, Laurie Hawn
The vote on Motion 456 is expected May 14th.
-NDP Press Release