Robert Lloyd WENMAN

WENMAN, Robert Lloyd

Personal Data

Party
Progressive Conservative
Constituency
Fraser Valley West (British Columbia)
Birth Date
June 19, 1940
Deceased Date
June 14, 1995
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Wenman
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=a3e7d649-bca5-467e-93b1-86911b50a1ca&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
businessman, investment counsellor, teacher

Parliamentary Career

July 8, 1974 - March 26, 1979
PC
  Fraser Valley West (British Columbia)
May 22, 1979 - December 14, 1979
PC
  Fraser Valley West (British Columbia)
February 18, 1980 - July 9, 1984
PC
  Fraser Valley West (British Columbia)
September 4, 1984 - October 1, 1988
PC
  Fraser Valley West (British Columbia)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence (November 1, 1984 - October 14, 1986)
November 21, 1988 - September 8, 1993
PC
  Fraser Valley West (British Columbia)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 158)


June 9, 1993

Mr. Wenman:

Madam Speaker, the main reason most people in greater Vancouver move to the Fraser Valley is for the quality of life: the green open spaces and the quality of the air, but we are losing on both those fronts with tremendous growth.

This bill is the first of three private members' bills that I have been working on in this area. It provides both individual and corporate consumers with an incentive to purchase electric vehicles or vehicles that run on alternative low emission fuels by offering an exemption from the GST for a period to end January 1, 2005.

The second bill will encourage mass distribution of these alternative vehicles in our marketplace through government and a Crown agency replacement program. The third will require 2 per cent of all vehicles purchased by the year 1998 to be low emission or electric vehicles.

Topic:   EXCISE TAX ACT
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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June 9, 1993

Mr. Robert Wenman (Fraser Valley West) moved

for leave to introduce Bill C-450, an act to amend the Excise Thx Act (electric motor vehicles and low emission vehicles).

Topic:   EXCISE TAX ACT
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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June 7, 1993

Mr. Robert Wenman (Fraser Valley West):

Mr. Speaker, this is one of the more important issues that has come before the House of Commons. That the discussion has begun in this session of Parliament for the first time is important. If not in this Parliament certainly by the next Parliament it will lead to changes before the law. It is inevitable because the majority of people, the nature of medical technology and many other factors are driving us in a direction that calls for discussion, reason and

Private Members' Business

resolution. Therefore I have no doubt the law will be changed.

All points of view are important in the ideas we put forward today. To me this is about freedom, self-determination and very much about fear. I appreciated the comments of the hon. member for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell. I appreciated that he personalized them. This is an issue that needs to be personalized because it affects every one of us. As an issue which affects every one of us, we need to consider it in our own context.

I can appreciate the choices that the hon. member for Calgary and the hon. member for Glengarry-Prescott- Russell may have made for themselves and their families. Those choices may have been that when they face terminal illness, they want to prolong life as long as medical science can do so, even if it is prolonging life through and into intense suffering.

That is their choice for them and their families. I do not agree with that choice for me or my family. I believe that God gave us medical science and technology to improve the quality of our life, to nurture, protect and prolong to the point where we say: "That is enough, let me go, let me withdraw from treatment and leave it between my God and myself to make that decision".

We seem to have moved somewhat since we started this debate on my Bill C-203. Everyone seems to recognize fully that there should be the right to withdraw from treatment in the law to the point that we are claiming that it exists. The court cases demonstrate that it does not necessarily exist and needs clarification. The courts have called upon Parliament to clarify the law. The first result of the Rodriguez hearing told us that this is a decision for the Parliament of Canada, not a decision for the medical profession or the courts.

Let us look at what we agree to under the law. We agree, I think almost unanimously, that anyone who becomes terminally ill, that means you and I, has the right to withdraw from treatment. But we do not have the right to withdraw from suffering. In other words, technically one can withdraw from treatment if one wants to suffer to the point of death.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS
Subtopic:   CRIMINAL CODE
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June 7, 1993

Mr. Wenman:

I am not finished yet. You are right. That is not the whole side. The practice of most caring medical professional people is that they will err on the side of relieving suffering and in so doing, on occasion or even often, will allow that life to go at the point when suffering becomes excessive.

I would like to see the practice made legal so that the choice is for everyone to make. If I were to become terminally ill I would want my life preserved as long as possible. I would use all the medical technology I could to extend my life. But I believe there is a point in suffering where I would want to be able to say as a mature, responsible adult: "That is enough, let me go. Help me go". I would want to use the technology available to us through medical science to let me choose to say that is enough and let me go.

It is unfortunate that this is a decision question. Who will make the decision? Will it be your doctor, will it be your family, will it be yourself or will it be God? What is the combination?

One of the problems right now is that everybody sits around the deathbed arguing about who should make the decision, or saying nothing because that is easier than arguing. It goes on and on and on. People feel great pity and empathy. They feel sad but they cannot make a decision. That is why there should be the right of the individual to make a rational, logical choice through access to medical technology which will allow us to terminate our own life when there is no further hope.

This is not just what I think, it is what the court has declared. The court has declared that it needs direction. From where? From Parliament, from here, from us. We have to overcome our fear of this subject and deal with it, and we all have that fear in varying degrees.

Some people compare it to the abortion issue. Tie it in. It has nothing to do with the abortion issue. In the case of abortion we are talking about two people's lives, the life of the child and the life of the mother. In that case it is easy for me. It is a matter of nurturing, preserving and protecting that life.

June 7, 1993

However, when we are talking about the end of our lives as mature responsible adults in the face of medical technology, I want to be protected by and for and against that technology, technology that wants to overly prolong my suffering and which will not allow me to make the decision in an appropriate manner through law.

Why do we not then put that decision back into the hands of the doctors? Do we put it in the hands of the individual? Why not decriminalize it and let each doctor, each individual make his or her own choice? Am I not responsible or intelligent enough to make that choice? I think I am. And I resent that any government or other parliamentarians would deny me that right of choice.

Death for many is not death; it is a release to eternal life. Why would any Christian try to prevent that release to eternal life?

I have made a great many arguments but am out of time to make those again in Bill C-203. But they will be made, if not by this Parliament then by the next Parliament, because the people of Canada demand that we make the change.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS
Subtopic:   CRIMINAL CODE
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February 24, 1993

Mr. Robert Wenman (Fraser Valley West):

Madam Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1) I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the report on the inaugural meeting of the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum held in Tokyo, Japan on January 14 and 15, 1993.

February 24, 1993

This report is more than a report this time. In fact the report embodies several resolutions and structural comments that could be helpful to the House of Commons and the Speaker.

It has been determined that there has been a lack of emphasis on the interparliamentary activity in the Pacific Rim. In fact we have only one bilateral organization, which is between Canada and Japan. That is the only official organization despite the fact that the whole geopolitical shift is toward the Pacific and it is imperative that Canada should participate more strongly in that interparliamentary relationship.

Therefore we have suggested in our report that the new organization, which is an umbrella of Parliaments of the Pacific, should in fact become the umbrella, which along with the Canada-Japan Parliamentary Association will encourage the development of more friendship associations, such as Canada-China, Canada-Taiwan and Canada-Korea.

We suggest that we would spawn many friendship organizations under the one umbrella and that umbrella in turn would then help direct delegations to develop those relationships, which are lagging far behind our traditional European experience.

This report correlates very well with that of the member for Saint-Denis who will make similar suggestions in his bigger report to Parliament through the parliamentary committee structure.

We want to support that and emphasize this. We hope this report will not simply be received but that it will be a matter of study by the Speaker and by committee.

I would like this report referred beyond the House of Commons back through the structure. I would ask that that is done as our recommendations are considered.

Topic:   INTERPARLIAMENTARY DELEGATION
Subtopic:   ASIA PACIFIC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM
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