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The Catholic Women’s League of Canada BC & Yukon Provincial Council

Provincial Legislation Communique # 4 – Blanca Stead  April 10, 2017

Bill C-14

After the approval of Bill C-14 to provide assisted death, those who want a wider scope of people eligible to qualify for euthanasia/assisted suicide, are asking for changes to amend the law so it will become more inclusive.

- The Quebec government is seeking to broaden the eligibility requirements on assisted dying and for that purpose is asking the courts to clarify the meaning of “reasonably foreseeable” death, which is considered to be too vague and problematic.

- The BC Civil Liberties Association has launched a constitutional challenge saying that the “reasonably foreseeable” rule is too restrictive and will inflict serious pain on people with serious medical problems that are not immediately fatal.

We, members of the League, have voiced our concerns by writing letters, signing petitions,

phoning and visiting our MLAs and MPs. Specifically we called for effective protection of the freedom of conscience and religion for health care providers, and to keep hospice and palliative care facilities separated from those that offer euthanasia/assisted suicide.  These actions have been directed to both the Federal and Provincial governments.

We need to continue supporting our cause and make it known to the next provincial government.

Status of some of the Bills at Parliament.

 Bill C-17 “An Act to amend the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act” this bill has just received a 2nd  Reading;

Bill C-224 “Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act” is scheduled for consideration of Senate amendments on April 11, 2017.  This bill is sponsored by Mr. McKinnon, Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam)

 Bill C-277 An Act providing for the development of a framework on palliative care in Canada” This bill received the 2nd Reading and Referral to Committee on January 31, 2017. Bill is still at report stage.

Bill S-201: “Genetic Non-Discrimination Act”.  This bill is awaiting Royal Assent.

Petition e-673 “Health care services” to include home care as an insured health service, was certified on March 28, 2017 with 2,348 signatures.

May 2017 Elections.

Tuesday, April 11, is the official start of the political campaign leading to the provincial elections on May 9th.

Why vote? It helps to choose our leaders, those who share our values or those who may inspire us. We need to exercise our right to vote “Your vote is your voice.  Be heard!”

For whom to vote?

The right to run for office in a provincial election is guaranteed by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Anyone who meets the requirements of the Election Act can be a candidate.

We need to get informed, to listen to the candidates’ forums, to attend candidates’ meetings, so we can ask the questions for which we want answers. We will be looking for a candidate who would support Catholic values.  The CWL is a politically non-partisan organization. We take action as private citizens.

At the Chrism Mass in Victoria, Bishop Gary Gordon shared some of the highlights of the recent conversation that the Bishops of Western Canada had with the Holy Father. His Holiness’ advice to them and to the priests in their Dioceses was: Discern and Pray. This wisdom also serves us, as we choose a candidate to vote for at the provincial election, as we ponder about the proper wording when writing to the government and health authorities, and whenever we take action carrying out the League resolutions to influence government policy.

A blessed and joyful Easter to you and family.

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