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The Catholic Women’s League of Canada BC & Yukon Provincial Council National theme: One Heart, One Voice, One Mission Provincial theme: Joyfully Serving the Lord

BC & Yukon Representatives’ Visit to the Legislature in Victoria

On March 25th and 26th a delegation from the BC & Yukon Provincial Council of The Catholic Women’s League of Canada (CWL) met in Victoria with Government officials to present and discuss CWL resolutions.  The delegation for this 18th visit to the Legislature consisted of:  Doreen Gowans, President from Kamloops, Agnes Geiger, Legislation Chairperson from Nanaimo, and Gisela Montague, Resolution Chairperson from Chilliwack.

Information on the CWL and the Resolutions was prepared and handed to the MLAs beforehand; briefs, bibliographies and references were included.  The titles of the resolutions were as followed:

1. BC 2013.01 Uninterrupted Services for Disabled Youth to Adult Services

2. BC 2012.01 Protection and Care of Sexually Exploited Children

3. 2012.01 Criminalization of the Purchasing of Sexual Services

4. 2011.01 Prohibition of Practices RE Human Reproductive Material

5. BC 2011.02 Respect and Protection for Human Embryos and Human Reproductive Material

6. 2009.02 Protection and Support Services for Foreign Victims of Human Trafficking

7. 2007.02 Hospice Palliative Care: An Integral Component of the Canadian Health Care System

8. 2004.01 Protection of Human Life

Included were two resolutions (written by BC members) that were sent from the national CWL executive to the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organization (WUCWO) to be voted on at their national assembly in Fatima in October 2014:

a)  “Prohibiting the Practices of Alteration, Manipulation and Treatment of Human Reproductive Material”, and

b)  “Criminalizing the Purchase of Sexual Services”  

In the first presentation the delegation met with Teresa Chiesa, Director of Women and Maternal Health and Lauren Syverson, the Seniors’ Health Promotion Directorate at their Blanshard Street offices.  Here four resolutions were discussed:   2011.01 Prohibition of Practices Re Human Reproductive Material,  BC2011.02  Respect and Protection for Human Embryos and Human Reproductive Material,  2007.02 Hospice Palliative Care: An Integral Component of the    Canadian Health Care System and 2004.01 Protection of Human Life.

Teresa Chiesa talked about her work in prevention of violence against women and Lauren Syverson shared her interest in Hospice and Palliative Care.

The next appointment was at the Legislature with members of the NDP caucus:  Jennifer Rice, MLA for North Coast - Opposition Critic for Rural and Northern Health and Deputy Critic for Children and Family Development, Kathy Corrigan, MLA for Burnaby-Deer Lake – Critic for Public Safety and the Solicitor General, and Carole James, MLA for Victoria-Beacon Hill – Critic for Children and Family development.  All resolutions were presented and discussed. Carole James was very interested in the Disabled Youth Transition Funding.

On Wednesday morning, March 26th  the delegation met with ten members of the Liberal Caucus and three Aides.  Introductions were made by Jackie Tegart, MLA for Fraser Nicola, who currently serves as a member of the Cabinet Committee on Secure Tomorrow, and the Environment and Land Use Committee.   Following the presentation the floor was opened for questions and comments.  Ralph Sultan, longstanding MLA from West Vancouver-Capilano and a member of the Legislative Review Committee stated that guidance was needed on moral authority on end-of-life issues. Mike Morris, MLA for Prince George-MacKenzie, an RCMP officer for 32 years before becoming an MLA, was interested in the Human Trafficking Resolution.  He thanked the CWL for speaking up for those who are disadvantaged and don’t have a voice or are too afraid to speak to people in positions of authority.  Following this presentation a photo was taken with the MLA’s.

A special interest was shown by all government officials in the two WUCWO resolutions. If these resolutions are passed 132 countries will be requesting their governments to act on them.  Also, since WUCWO is a Non-government Organization at the United Nations, these resolutions will then be brought forward for discussion at their conference in the United Nations Assembly.

From 1:30 to 2:30 the delegation attended the Speaker’s Gallery, where Jackie Tegart, MLA introduced them to the House.

 After a late lunch in the Legislative Dining Room it was time to return home.

Note:  On Monday, April 7th Agnes Geiger, Provincial Legislation Chair and Gisela Montague, Provincial Resolution Chair presented the following resolutions to the Honourable Don McRae, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation as he was unavailable for the presentation in March:

1. BC 2013.01 Uninterrupted Services for Disabled Youth to Adult Services

2. BC 2012.01 Protection and Care of Sexually Exploited Children

Again the Minister, his Executive Assistant Ed Sem and Joan Dick, his Chief of Staff were very receptive to the presentation.  

Respectfully submitted,

Gisela Montague

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