Matthews Calls For Clarity from Opposition on Legislation to Prevent Skin Cancer —
One day after calling on the government to fast-track Bill 30, legislation to ban youth access to tanning beds, the PCs and NDP are threatening procedural tricks to stall the bill in the Ontario Legislature.
“When the House returns next month, our government will move a programming motion in the Legislature in order to quickly pass this life-saving bill into law by the end of September,” said Liberal MPP Deb Matthews. “The PCs and NDP have already pledged to support Bill 30 – it’s concerning to hear the opposition parties might play procedural games to prevent this vital legislation from passing.”
Matthews was referring to published media reports that indicate both opposition parties are backtracking from a commitment to fast-track the tanning bed ban:
- NDP Health Critic France Gelinas said Thursday the Government should pass the legislation “fast, very fast…[Ontario Liberals] controls the calendar.” (Toronto Sun, August 22, 2013). Today, Gelinas said the Liberals “are not in control” and “can’t simply push legislation through the house without getting agreement from the two opposition parties.” (Toronto Sun, August 23, 2013).
- The PCs said Thursday “We support the legislation” and called for a time allocation motion to secure speedy passage (Toronto Sun, August 22, 2013). The same day, the PCs wouldn’t confirm if they will follow through on their pledge to fast-track the Bill (Globeandmail.com, August 22, 2013).
“It’s time to put an end to the procedural games blocking our efforts to pass new tanning legislation so we can prevent skin cancer among young Ontarians. MPP France Gelinas has been unclear on whether or not she will support our efforts to fast-track this legislation. I would like a clear answer from Ms. Gelinas – yes or no – will her party help us get this bill passed before the end of September? All MPPs have a shared responsibility to make the legislature work so we can help to keep young people safe,” stated Matthews.
The proposed legislation would prevent skin cancer among youth and create awareness of potential harm by prohibiting the sale of tanning services to youth under 18. It would also require that tanning bed operators request identification from anyone who appears under 25 years old.
Last spring, the opposition blocked progress on Bill 30, Skin Cancer Prevention Act (Tanning Beds), 2013 by needlessly extending debate on three other bills for more than 55 hours – far more than required. By running out the clock debating the Local Food Act, the Air Ambulance Amendment Act, and Co-op Housing legislation, the opposition prevented this important tanning bed legislation from moving forward.