5.3 C
Friday, April 3, 2020
Connecting Our Communities

Albrecht’s suicide-prevention bill now in Senate


News Briefs

Woolwich nixes traffic islands Displeased with the troublesome pedestrian islands installed during the Region of Waterloo’s reconstruction of Church Street...

Elmira company producing hand sanitizer as virus hits

Usually focused on your taste buds rather than your finger tips, Elmira-based Murphy’s Law Distillery has branched out...

A message from the publisher

Clearly, these are challenging times for all of us. Our world is more interconnected than ever, making facing...

Avoid all non-essential public gatherings, health officials advise

There is no safe number when it comes to public gatherings, says the region’s acting medical officer of...


light rain
5.3 ° C
7.2 °
3.3 °
81 %
90 %
6 °
10 °
12 °
15 °
14 °

The federal government has moved one step closer to making Kitchener-Conestoga MP Harold Albrecht’s strategy against suicide a reality. Formally known as Bill C-300, the private members bill is aimed at establishing a national strategy on suicide prevention. The House of Commons completed debate on the bill on Monday by passing the third reading, sending it to the Senate for further review.

Throughout the process of passing the bill – first introduced last September – Albrecht has been happy to see the debates free of partisanship by all parties.

“In the last reading it received some pretty strong support – there were only four members who voted against it – so I was pretty confident that it would proceed,” Albrecht said Tuesday afternoon.

Having already received the support necessary to appear before the Senate – Senator Salma Ataullahjan has agreed to be its sponsor – the bill must pass through a similar process as the House, meaning it will require another three readings before being sent to Governor General David Johnson to be made into law.

Albrecht hopes that the lack of opposition by all sides will mean it can be fast-tracked through the Senate before the Senate rises, which will likely be next week.

“It could be passed on to the governor general for royal ascent some time in early July. I’m very much hopeful that I will be present when the Governor General signs it into law,” the MP said.

Albrecht closed Monday’s debate by sharing the story of an 11-year-old who had been molested at the age of 7, and also experienced severe bullying.

“As a father of three children and the proud grandparent of nine, I was sick when I heard this story,” Albrecht said. “I am not trained in crisis intervention, but when this child’s mother sought help from my office, we were able to connect her with people who possess the skills, experience, understanding and training to offer help.”

It is these types of personal stories that have continued to motivate Albrecht to make this bill a reality. When 18-year-old Carleton University student Nadia Kajouji committed suicide in March of 2008 after she was encouraged to do so over the Internet, Albrecht penned bill M388 which sought to amend the criminal code to prevent predators from exploiting vulnerable Canadians online and encouraging suicide.

That bill was passed unanimously on Nov. 18, 2009 and the response that Albrecht received from the public encouraged him to pursue the issue further. The numbers of suicides are staggering, and according to the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council, nearly 4,000 Canadians commit suicide each year.

For more information on suicide and suicide prevention, visit the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council website, www.wrspc.ca or if you are having any suicidal feelings or know someone who is, call Crisis Services Waterloo Region, (519) 745-1166, or 9-1-1.

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to The Observer's online community. Pseudonyms are not permitted. By submitting a comment, you accept that The Observer has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner The Observer chooses. Please note that The Observer does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our submission guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.


Sketches of our town

Slowing down and taking in our surroundings – the proverbial stopping to smell the roses – is oft discussed but seldom acted on. The measures put in place to slow the coronavirus...

In Print. Online. In Pictures. In Depth.

You obviously love community journalism. Thanks for visiting today. If you have a great local story, let us know.

Keeping the lights on at Elmira biogas plant

With much of the province shut down, demand for electricity has dropped, but it’s business as usual for the biogas plant in...
- Advertisement -