Mr. Speaker, I rise to add a brief opposition comment on the report just tabled.
First I want to commend to all members the process which produced this report. It was one case where the draft bill went to a committee prior to first reading. The degree of agreement that was reached as a result is worth noting.
The opposition supports many of the major recommendations of the report, particularly the ban on reproductive and therapeutic cloning, the proposals for a new regulatory body and the mechanisms to hold that body accountable to parliament.
The one major difference between ourselves and the government that is noted in the minority report is an ethical concern about any research, such as embryonic stem cell research, which results in the destruction of the embryo. We would commend to members our recommendations that there be a prohibition on such research subject to a three year moratorium and a much stronger emphasis on supporting adult stem cell research.
In conclusion I would like to remind all members that this field of assisted human reproduction involves complex issues of science, health and ethics. There are two things that this report recommends to the House in order to resolve those things: first, to establish a regulatory arena where all those interests and conflicts can be represented and adjudicated openly; and second, for the House to give direction to that body, just a simple directive that where there is a conflict between what is ethically acceptable and scientifically possible, the ethical perspective would prevail.
I join the chair of the Standing Committee on Health in commending this report on building families to every member of the House.