NDP refuse opportunity to reopen discussion on Bill 36

VICTORIA (March 9, 2023) – In the face of growing concern and anxiety from health care professionals around the lack of clarity and scrutiny of Bill 36, the Health Professions and Occupations Act, the BC Liberals called on the NDP to refer the bill to the Legislature’s all-party Health Committee for further review. Unfortunately, the NDP said no, and refused to support this plan.

“Every day our BC United Caucus hears from countless health care professionals who are deeply concerned and increasingly anxious about Bill 36,” said Todd Stone, Official Opposition House Leader. “This is why we called on the NDP to refer Bill 36 to the Select Standing Committee on Health and provide a real opportunity for MLAs to hear directly from health professionals and review the hundreds of pages that were left unexamined when government forced closure on the bill. It’s incredibly frustrating to see the NDP once again shut down the chance to give this bill the scrutiny it deserves, especially in light of the significant concerns of doctors, nurses, dentists, physiotherapists, and thousands of other health care professionals.”

The BC United Caucus introduced a motion in the legislature to empower the Select Standing Committee on Health to examine the Health Professions and Occupations Act and make recommendations with respect to the sections of the Act that did not have the chance to be debated last November. However, all NDP members present in the Legislature voted against this motion.

“The Official Opposition should have been given adequate time to ask questions about the bill, but the NDP closed the debate and — with the help of the Green Party — rammed through the legislation with over 400 clauses still left to examine,” said Shirley Bond, BC Liberal Shadow Minister for Health. “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, and they should not come into force before they have had a genuine chance to be discussed in the Legislature. For the sake of worried health professionals, and the millions of British Columbians who depend on them for care, this NDP government must step up and finally allow a full and thorough discussion of Bill 36 and its impacts.”

The hundreds of clauses within Bill 36 left unscrutinised included changes to board appointments, regulatory oversight, and revisions to the disciplinary process.





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