Cape Breton MP’s Split on Genetic Discrimination Bill
Cape Breton’s Liberal MP’s were split on support for government changes to a genetic discrimination bill, last night.
Sydney-Victoria’s Mark Eyking was among most Liberal backbenchers who joined forces with opposition parties to reject attempts by the government to gut Bill S-201.
However, Cape Breton-Canso’s Rodger Cuzner voted with the government.
The bill introduces penalties for discrimination based on genetics, and forbids employers from subjecting job applicants to a genetic test.
Medical experts say the legislation is needed to counter fears potentially life-saving genetic testing could also be used by employers and others to discriminate against people.
However, federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould says she believes the legislation is unconstitutional because it could infringe on the provinces’ right to regulate the insurance industry.
The insurance industry has lobbied against the bill over fears not having to disclose information from genetic testing will encourage fraud when people are applying for life insurance.
The bill is expected to become law within the next few days.