Individual MP's can make a Difference - Lynn McDonald

So you think individual MP's can't make a difference?  Lynn McDonald would tell you otherwise.  McDonald was the MP in the federal riding that comprised part of what is now Toronto Danforth, Jack Layton's riding.

McDonald was elected to Parliament in 1982.  She is the first MP to be referred to as Ms.  McDonald introduced a private Members Bill C-204, the Non-smokers’ Health Act.l

This private-member’s bill, introduced in the House of Commons by Lynn McDonald (NDP) in October 1986, proposed to restrict smoking in federally regulated workplaces, as well as on planes, trains, and boats. The bill placed tobacco under the Hazardous Products Act, thereby prohibiting all advertising and sales except what was permitted by regulation.

It took two years but Bill C-204 passed 3rd reading on May 30th 1988.  A government Bill C-51 passed the following day.

Today Canada's fight back against tobacco can be traced back to a New Democrat MP who with the support of her party took up the fight.  McDonald's bill was passed with the support of all political parties as was the government Bill C-51 which as I noted above was passed the next day.  It wasn't easy as many MP's stayed away for the vote.

Individual MPs do make a difference, your vote counts when you cast it for someone that you believe in.

You can read more about the fight to pass the two Bills here.

Lynn McDonald works on the faculty of the University of Guelph.

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