Communique #2 – Legislation

National Chairperson of Legislation Nancy Simms

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The Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy has come to a close, but we must never close our hearts to showing mercy through our actions in the League. Many of the items in this communiqué declare the good news of members’ actions. Thank you to sub-committee chairpersons Ann Devlin and Dorothy Johansen for their input in to this communiqué.

Government Meetings
The national delegation of National President Margaret Ann Jacobs, National President-elect Anne Gorman, National Chairperson of Resolutions Joan Bona and myself will be attending meetings with government officials and ministers to discuss resolutions November 28th - 30th. Please keep these meetings in your prayers.

Action on Previous Resolutions
Resolution 2016.04 Amend the Canada Health Act to Identify Palliative Care as an Insured Health Service: The objective of Bill C-277 Framework on Palliative Care in Canada Act is to provide “for the development and implementation of a framework designed to guarantee all Canadians access to high-quality palliative care.” This bill has passed second reading and has now been referred to the standing committee on health. Encourage members to write their members of parliament to support this bill.

On October 25, 2016 Senator Jane Cordy spoke in the Senate in support of palliative hospice care. Senator Cordy spoke of The Catholic Women’s League of Canada’s letter to the federal minister of health. She stated that the request within Resolution 2016.04 “is a reasonable request by the CWL that would benefit all Canadians.” Her speech may be read at www.parl.gc.ca/Content/Sen/Chamber/421/Debates/065db_2016-10-25-e.htm#2.

Bill C-268 Protection of Freedom of Conscience Act
This private member’s bill needs to be supported. Its objective is to amend “the Criminal Code to make it an offence to intimidate a medical or nurse practitioner, pharmacist or any other healthcare professional for the purpose of compelling them to take part, directly or indirectly, in the provision of medical assistance in dying. It also makes it an offence to dismiss from employment or to refuse to employ a medical or nurse practitioner, pharmacist or any other healthcare professional for the reason only that they refuse to take part, directly or indirectly, in the provision of medical assistance in dying." It has passed first reading and supports the motion passed at the 2016 annual national convention “urging provincial councils to petition their provincial/territorial premiers and appropriate ministers to request that freedom of conscience of healthcare professionals be protected and to ensure the same protection for healthcare institutions when either they or individuals within them refuse to participate in medically assisted dying or refuse to make direct referrals for patients who request medically assisted dying, and that provincial councils petition the provincial/territorial colleges and/or associations of healthcare professionals urging them to recognize and respect their members’ right to freedom of conscience.”

Bill C-290 An Act to amend the Food and Drugs Act (machine readable code) (Resolution 2016.03 Warning Labels on Food and Drug Products for all Inactive Substances and Additives). Bill C-290’s objective is to amend “the Food and Drugs Act to provide that regulations may be made with respect to the addition of a machine-readable code, such as a Quick Response code, providing prescribed mandatory information and supplementary product information to the label of all foods, drugs, cosmetics, devices and therapeutic products.” This private members bill has passed first reading.

Resolution 2016.05 Amend the Canada Health Act to Include Home Care as an Insured Health Service:
I am presently setting up an e-petition through the House of Commons website to support this resolution. Once the petition site is up and running, I will contact provincial councils to encourage all members to sign the petition.

Other Active Bills Related to Resolutions that Need Action Taken

Defeated Bills

We must keep writing letters and letting our voices be heard on these issues. Members need to continue to show mercy through their actions of letter writing, petitions, postcards and personal contact with government officials.

May Our Lady of Good Counsel guide us in our work “For God and Canada”.

Nancy Simms
National Chairperson of Legislation