Glenda Carson, National Chairperson of Social Justice, January 31, 2024
FOR: Chairpersons of Social Justice at All Levels (new structure) and Chairpersons of Legislation at All Levels (old structure)
Dear Sisters in the League,
Thank you to everyone who has responded to the requests to consider a postcard campaign addressing legislative concerns regarding medical assistance in dying (MAiD) and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) request to support Bill S-210: Protecting Young Persons from Exposure to Pornography Act. Please find additional information sought by members and standing committee chairpersons over the past few weeks to assist in the requested actions below.
Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD): There have been some questions regarding how best to print the postcards in bulk as needed for a postcard campaign by a council. Some members have printed off the cards themselves using cardstock. While commendable and greatly appreciated, this may not be possible for some councils. Other options may be to employ a company such as Staples or UPS or print them through an online source such as Vistaprint. Some parish councils have also come together to print the cards jointly, which has proven cost-effective as the greater the number printed with the various companies, the less expensive the printing costs are. The postcard templates can be found under the “Resources” section on the national website on the “Crest, Stationery and Other Council Supplies” page. Members are encouraged to send postcards to MPs and senators. No postage is necessary.
Members have also expressed some concern as to whether it is beneficial to continue to address concerns regarding MAiD since legislation to expand the criteria to vulnerable populations, including those living with mental illness, continues to be considered in Canada. While legislation including mental illness in the criteria for MAiD is destined to become law on March 17, 2024, there remains a call among many parliamentarians to put an indefinite pause on the pending expansion of MAiD eligibility. Members’ voices must be heard regarding support for a stay on the expansion as well as the need for better government support for overcoming challenges in Canadian society, such as access to care, including palliative care, and support for basic needs for living, such as affordable housing and the eradication of poverty that have led Canadians to choose MAiD.
Bill S-210: Protecting Young Persons from Exposure to Pornography Act. Thank you again for the wonderful response from councils regarding letter writing and circulating the petition from the member of parliament (MP) for Peace River–Westlock. The deadline for the receipt of the petition to be included in those presented to the House of Commons has passed. However, if you have petitions completed, it is still helpful to forward the information to your MP, as there will be further debate on the bill once it comes back from the committee studying it. It should be beneficial for any MP to know the extent of concern by their constituents related to Bill S-210 when it comes back for debate. I will also be connecting with the MP for Peace River–Westlock for advice on the best steps to support this legislation further.
Dates of Interest: In addition to February being Black History Month, below are some other dates you may want to note:
February 11: International Day of Women and Girls in Science (United Nations)
February 20: World Day of Social Justice (United Nations)
March: Anniversary of the Death of Anne Frank (date unknown)
March 8: International Women’s Day
March 21: International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (United Nations)
March 22: World Water Day (United Nations)
March 25: International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade (United Nations)
March 26: Anniversary of the Publication On the Development of Peoples (Vatican)
May Our Lady of Good Counsel guide and intercede for us in our advocacy for the social justice needs in our world and the life that calls it home.
National Chairperson of Social Justice