Proposed Conservative legislation would safeguard hospitals says MP

'Safe Hospitals Act'

While it is the role and responsibility of the official Opposition to hold the government accountable, it is often said its role is not solely to oppose, but also to propose.

This week, the Conservative Party Leader Pierre Poilievre, introduced the "Safe Hospitals Act". If a Conservative government is elected in the next federal election, set for October 2025, the plan is to implement the Safe Hospitals Act

Before delving into the details, let's discuss why such an act is necessary.

Many are aware that B.C.'s NDP government, with the consent and support of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's federal Liberal government, approved a project to allow for the possession and use of certain illicit drugs. Those drugs include previously illegal and dangerous substances, such as cocaine, heroin, fentanyl and opioids. Today, I will not delve into the debate surrounding this project.

Unfortunately, the "experiment" led to an increase in illegal drug use in many hospitals, compromising the safety of staff and patients. Even more concerning, illegal drug dealers and weapons such as knives, were allowed into hospitals. This information was uncovered through health authority documents leaked to several B.C. news organizations. It's worth noting the information was leaked, as the health authorities in question did not publicly disclose it to the public in B.C.

Imagine the shock many patients and staff experienced when they discovered open drug use, drug dealers and weapons being tolerated due to a health authority policy. Credit goes to the B.C. Nurses Union, who raised concerns about this issue. They highlighted that patients and staff were exposed to harmful, illegal drugs. It's safe to say many would agree that was an entirely unacceptable situation in our hospitals.

B.C. Premier David Eby recently asked Trudeau to change the parameters of the project and make illicit drug use illegal again in all public spaces, including parks, hospitals and on transit. That request came after the realization the project was not successful and had led to an increase in overdose-related fatalities. The prime minister has since agreed to B.C.'s request.

So, what does the Conservative's Safe Hospitals Act entail? It proposes several measures aimed at ensuring our hospitals, particularly the staff and patients within, are never exposed to dangerous illegal drugs and weapons again.

The measures include:

• Establishing an aggravating factor for sentencing purposes if a criminal possesses a weapon in a hospital.

•.Eliminating the Health Minister's ability to grant exemptions under Section 56 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, if the exemption would permit the use of dangerous illicit drugs, such as fentanyl and meth, in hospitals.

• Passing the Private Members Bill C-321, proposed by Cariboo—Prince George Conservative MP Todd Doherty, without delay. That bill would create an aggravating factor for assaults committed against healthcare workers or first responders.

It's worth noting the safe hospital act would only be applicable to illegal drugs and would not extend to any drugs prescribed by medical practitioners.

Although healthcare is a provincially provided service, these federally imposed measures could offer additional tools to help maintain the safety of our hospitals for both patients and staff. Personally, I view our hospitals as some of the most valuable resources in our society, including the highly valued professionals working in them. They should be free to practice their work without having to shoulder this burden.

Allowing such ideological "experiments" from the provincial and federal governments has resulted in hospitals across the province to be filled with illegal drugs, drug dealers and weapons.

My question for you this week:

Would you support the implementation of this "safe hospitals act" by the federal government? Why or why not?

You can reach me at [email protected] or call toll-free at 1-800-665-8711.

Dan Albas is the Conservative MP for Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola and the co-chair of the Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations.

Before entering public life, Dan was the owner of Kick City Martial Arts, responsible for training hundreds of men, women and youth to bring out their best.

Dan  is consistently recognized as one of Canada’s top 10 most active Members of Parliament on Twitter (@danalbas) and also continues to write a weekly column published in many local newspapers and on this website.

Dan welcomes comments, questions and concerns from citizens and is often available to speak to groups and organizations on matters of federal concern. 

He can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free at 1-800-665-8711.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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