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

Legislation Oral Report to 2017 Provincial Convention – Blanca Stead

This past year the activities of the Legislation Standing committees focused on the impact of Bill C-14 that legalized assisted dying. Our actions were directed to protect the vulnerable, to safeguard the right of conscience for health care workers, and to request that palliative and hospice care be an essential part of the health care system.

In the League, to support or to voice our concern about bills at federal or provincial level, to urge the government to enact legislation, and to support our Resolutions, the first recommended action plan is to write letters. Reports indicate that this doesn’t happen very often. Why? Is it because texting and tweeting have become our selected ways of written communication?

Why write letters? Do they serve any purpose?  Personal letters carry our voices and we need to be heard by the government, especially by a new elected government and new members in the BC Legislature. We cannot underestimate the impact of our letters and opinions on the lawmakers, be they letters of protest or praise.  Canadian physician Dr. James Orbinski, in his speech of acceptance to the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999, said: “We are not sure that words can always save lives, but we know that silence can certainly kill”

Some of our members have expressed that they feel overwhelmed by the information and request for action on Legislation. With the ongoing concerns about amendments to Bill C-14, the proposed new legislation on marijuana, and several other pressing issues, the load is not going to get any lighter. So in order to endure the challenges of Legislation, let’s follow Pope Francis’ words of wisdom: “Amid so many calamities there is a sense, the sense to look beyond, the sense to say look there is no wall, there is a horizon, there is joy, there is happiness. Look ahead, do not close within yourself”.

On my horizon there is a Standing Committee of Legislation in every council and at least one letter to the government from everyone of us.

This concludes my report

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