moved for leave to introduce Bill C-268, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (intimidation of health care professionals).
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to introduce my private member's bill, entitled the “protection of freedom of conscience act”.
I have introduced this legislation to ensure in plain language those rights guaranteed to all Canadians in the Charter. This bill seeks to enshrine in law a minimum national standard of protections for the freedom of conscience of medical professionals, while respecting the jurisdiction of my provincial colleagues to expand on this bill. It would ensure that medical professionals who choose to not take part in, or refer a patient for, euthanasia or medical assistance in dying would never be forced by violence, threats, coercion or loss of employment to violate the sovereign rights we all enjoy by virtue of our citizenship in this nation.
I encourage all my colleagues in this place to ratify my bill, thereby stating unequivocally that the right to free conscience expressed in the Charter applies equally to all Canadians, regardless of their chosen profession.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)