Communique #12 – Legislation

November 26, 2020

National Chairperson of Legislation Betty Colaneri, November 26, 2020

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“Amid a culture of indifference which not infrequently turns ruthless, our style of life should instead be devout, filled with empathy, compassion and mercy…” (Pope Francis).

My dear League sisters,

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has written a document entitled, “Important Facts about Bill C-7 and Euthanasia in Canada.” I strongly urge you to read the attached document and forward it to your diocesan counterparts for distribution to members. It has important statistics and information that members and those in the community should be made aware of. The document can be used as an essential tool to spread the message and bring to light the growing concern regarding Bill C-7 An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying).

I could not help but feel great sadness and disappointment that this should even be brought up for discussion. It was shocking to read that in 2019, a total of 5,631 people died via medical assistance in dying (MAiD). When asked why they were choosing MAiD, the most common reason came from their perception of the loss of ability to engage in meaningful life activities. The next most common reason was the loss of dignity followed by a perceived burden on family, friends and caregivers. Though it is understandable that people considering MAiD would do so to alleviate being a burden to their family, it is imperative to show them they are not a burden but a gift from God. If this is how those suffering from physical or mental sickness feel, Canadians as a society have failed them. Christians need to safeguard against the passing of this bill. Programs must be put in place to engage the most vulnerable and give them back the dignity they deserve.

Bill C-9
On a positive note, the federal government has come to the aid of businesses, charities and not-for-profit organizations struggling to make rental payments. Bill C-9 An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy and Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy) sponsored by deputy prime minister and minister of finance, received royal assent on November 19, 2020. The subsidies will support some of those hardest hit by COVID-19. The summary of the bill is as follows:

This enactment amends the Income Tax Act to revise the eligibility criteria, as well as the level of subsidization, under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) as part of the response to the coronavirus disease 2019. It also extends the CEWS to June 30, 2021. The enactment further amends the Income Tax Act to introduce the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) in order to support those hardest hit by the coronavirus disease 2019. This subsidy provides relief in respect of rent and interest on debt obligations incurred to acquire real property used by businesses, charities and not-for-profit organizations in the course of their businesses or other activities. The rent subsidy is effective as of September 27, 2020 (parl.ca).

Many Canadian businesses have succumbed to the effects of COVID-19. Hopefully, Bill C-9 will help struggling businesses persevere until the economy can recover from the pandemic’s aftermath.

Betty Colaneri
National Chairperson of Legislation