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Press Releases 2007

JUNE 5, 2007

McGuinty Government Kills Organ Donation Bill

(QUEEN'S PARK) An organ donation bill that would have significantly increased the availability of organs for transplantation was killed by the McGuinty government today. Despite months of public debate and support for the bill and unanimous all-party support, the McGuinty government chose to let the bill die on the order paper.

Although the Legislature was scheduled to sit for another three weeks, Dalton McGuinty announced today that he was shutting the Legislature down early, killing more than 100 pieces of legislation - among them, Klees' organ donation bill.

 

The organ donation bill, which was introduced on February 22, 2006, by Oak Ridges MPP Frank Klees, would have required that Ontario residents applying for or renewing a health card or driver's license complete an organ donation question as part of the application form. The bill made it through all the legislative hurdles with unanimous all-party support and was supported by the government's (Citizen's Panel on Increasing Organ Donations).

The proposed bill also has broad public support as evidenced by the thousands of signatures on petitions submitted to the legislature, and the medical community endorsed the bill claiming its implementation would save lives.

"This is a glaring example of why people are cynical about government and politicians," said Klees in response to the McGuinty government's refusal to allow the bill to be brought forward for the third and final reading in the legislature. "This is one of the most offensive and glaringly partisan decisions taken by this government yet. This bill is a simple administrative measure that everyone agrees would save lives. It was supported by every member of the legislature and received unanimous all party support at every step of the legislative process. It is supported by the medical community and even the minister's own citizen's panel on organ donation".

Klees places the blame for the bill not being passed on Minister of Health, George Smith erman who had the final say on whether the bill would be allowed to pass. "George Smith erman just doesn't know when to put his partisan instincts aside and make a decision in the public interest," said Klees. "To ignore the will of every member of the Legislature and insist this bill dies just because it wasn't a government bill speaks volumes of this minister and of the lack of respect his government has for the Legislature and the public. With the provincial election just months away, I can only hope that this offensive behaviour won't be forgotten."

           

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Crisis in Organ Donation