In the last week of the campaign, Cloverdale-Langley City Liberal candidate slammed his Conservative opponent Tamara Jansen over the issue of medically-assisted dying.
A short video clip of Jansen speaking at a March for Life rally at the B.C. Legislature in 2018 was shared by Liberal MP Joel Lightbound on Tuesday morning.
“It has never been the intent from any corner of this planet, for any corner of this planet, for hospice to be designated as a death camp,” Jansen said. “So when our dear ones are at their weakest and most vulnerable time of life, they are encouraged by activist health-care professionals to hasten death and ease everyone’s burden.”
Shortly after Lightbound’s tweet was posted, Aldag issued a statement.
“I was shocked and appalled to see video footage of Conservative candidate Tamara Jansen stating publicly that medical assistance in dying will turn hospices into ‘death camps,’” Aldag wrote.
“Any comparison between medical assistance in dying [MaiD] and the Holocaust is wrong. It displays shameful ignorance of the more than six million Jews, and the countless other victims of the Nazis, who were systematically murdered,” Aldag’s statement said. “It also ignores all those who survived the Holocaust and their stories and scars.”
Later in the day, Tamara Jansen also issued a statement.
“The topic of medically assisted suicide is one that I am very passionate about. I’m proud of the work that I have done for hospice care in British Columbia,” Jansen wrote.
“I am also proud to have worked alongside the late Mark Warawa who was a strong advocate for end-of-life care. While voicing my concerns, I used a poor choice of words. To anyone I offended, I sincerely apologize.”
Andrew Scheer’s candidate in Cloverdale-Langley City, Tamara Jansen, said providing medical assistance in dying will turn hospices into “death camps.” Comparing MAID to the Holocaust is wrong. The only thing like a death camp is a death camp. Scheer and Jansen must apologize. pic.twitter.com/qecF7j9nUO
— Joël Lightbound (@JoelLightbound) October 15, 2019
Aldag and Jansen have sparred over medical assistance in dying for more than than three years, going back to forums Aldag hosted on Bill C-14. Both said they considered it a good exchange of views, after Jansen organized a protest at Aldag’s constituency office and the MP spoke with the protesters.
The Liberals brought in the bill in 2016, creating rules for medical assistance in dying after a Supreme Court of Canada ruling the previous year striking down a ban on assisted suicide.
In Langley, much of the debate involved whether MaiD could take place in hospices. Jansen was strongly opposed.
Jansen was well-known for advocating against medical assistance in dying and her pro-life views before she became a Conservative candidate.
Images of Jansen, apparently at a U.S. pro-life rally several years ago, have also circulated online during the campaign.
On Oct. 14, a group of eight pro-choice protesters waved signs outside Jansen’s Cloverdale campaign office. They were protesting Jansen’s socially conservative views.