Legislation Communique #4

“When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.”  (Malala Yousafzai)

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As provincial chairpersons you are gearing up for conventions and looking forward to winding down into the idle days of summer. Yet, my hope is that by sharing with you a few bills before parliament they will be forwarded to your diocesan counterparts to encourage members to take time in their lazy days of summer to write a few letters, creating a powerful voice while the entire world is silent.

Bill C-214 An Act to Amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (appeals) and Bill C-255 An Act to Amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (appeal process and for temporary resident visa applicants) have both gone through first reading in the House of Commons (House) and would provide a right of appeal to foreign nationals whose application for permanent resident visa has been denied. These bills support many League resolutions regarding refugees. Letters should be sent to members of parliament (MPs), the minister of immigration and the prime minister (PM).

Bill C-216 National Perinatal Bereavement Awareness Day Act has had first reading in the House. This bill supports many League pro-life resolutions including 2005.09 Support for Families Experiencing Perinatal Loss. Write letters supporting this bill to MPs and the PM.

Bill C-243 National Maternity Assistance Program Strategy Act is in committee report stage in the House. The bill supports many League pro-life resolutions. Write letters to the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities, Sixth Floor, 131 Queen Street, House of Commons, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A6 or e-mail [email protected]

Bill C-254 An Act to Amend the Excise Tax Act (baby products) has had first reading in the House. This bill would remove the Goods and Services Tax from all baby products and would support many League pro-life resolutions. Write to MPs, the minister of finance and the PM.

Bill C-257 Amend the Food and Drugs Act (sugar content labelling) has had first reading in the House and would require the sugar content of prepackaged products to appear on the label. Write letters of support to MPs, the minister of health and the PM (archived Resolution 2002.08 Labelling on Prepackaged Foods).

Bill C-233 National Strategy for Alzheimer’s Disease and other Dementias Act is in committee with the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology and needs support as it addresses implementing a national strategy for health care for those afflicted. This supports the League’s ongoing call for compassionate care for the sick. Postage free mail may be sent to any senator at [Name of Senator], the Senate of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A4.

Bill C-326 An Act to amend the Department of Health Act (drinking water guidelines) is in second reading in the House and would conduct a review of safe drinking water standards in member countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. This supports Resolution 2005.06 Developing Countries and Water. Write letters to MPs, the minister of health and the PM.

Three Senate bills that also need support are Bill S-5 An Act to amend the Tobacco Act and the Non-smokers’ Health Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts is in third reading in the Senate, Bill S-225 An Act to Amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (substances used in the production of fentanyl) is in third reading in the Senate and with an amendment to the act passed, and Bill S-228 Child Health Protection Act is in committee with the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology.

Thank you to all who worked so hard gathering signatures for the petition regarding federal funding for palliative care. Three boxes of signed petitions received in the mail will soon be delivered to MP Cathy McLeod (Kamloops─Thompson─Cariboo). A tally of the signatures will be shared during the oral reports at the annual national convention in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

Additional thanks for the e-petition signatures for e-673 (health care services). A total of 2,348 signatures was gathered and presented in the House on May 1st. A government response to the petition request should be received next month and will be shared at the annual national convention. This oral report will be published in the fall edition of The Canadian League magazine.

May Our Lady of Good Counsel bless you in these upcoming summer months

Nancy Simms

National Chairperson of Legislation