Legislation Communique #7

March 02, 2018

National Chairperson of Legislation Nancy Simms, March 1, 2018

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“So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbours,
for we are members of one another.” (Ephesians 4:25)

National Palliative Care: Private member’s Bill C-277 Framework on Palliative Care Act in Canada received royal assent December 12, 2017. This bill in part states, “The Minister of Health must, in consultation with the representatives of the provincial and territorial governments responsible for health, as well as with palliative care providers, develop a framework designed to support improved access for Canadians to palliative care - provided through hospitals, home care, long-term care facilities and residential hospices …” Encourage members to contact provincial ministers of health to ensure that this new legislation is carried out within their respective province or territory.

Resolution 2017.04 Protection from Coercion of Conscience for Healthcare Professionals: On January 31, 2018 the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Divisional Court) upheld the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario’s policies regarding the requirement that physicians who have ethical objections to certain acts, including euthanasia and abortion, must refer patients to healthcare professionals who will provide the act, even though the court recognized that this violates the physicians’ rights to religious freedom. If this can happen in Ontario, it can happen in all provinces. Encourage members to contact all levels of government urging that coercing healthcare professionals into referring for or performing procedures that are in opposition to their charter rights of freedom of conscience and religion be considered an offence.

Bill C-38 An Act to amend An Act to amend the Criminal Code (exploitation and trafficking in persons): This bill is in second reading in the House of Commons (1st reading February 9, 2017) This enactment amends An Act to amend the Criminal Code (exploitation and trafficking in persons) so that certain sections of that act can come into force on different days. The act received royal assent on June 18, 2015 yet has not come into force since presently the act states that it will come into force on a day to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council. If Bill C-38 passes, it would allow the act to come into force on the day of receiving royal assent, thereby expediting the justice system for those who have exploited and trafficked persons. Encourage members to contact their members of parliament to support Bill C-38.

Petitions: I recently contacted my member of parliament’s office and enquired if a person signed a petition in a previous year and the requested action had not been achieved, could they resign the same petition? The response was that a petition is a formal public document and therefore, once signed is always on record. The request has been noted and a person should not resign a petition.
May Our Lady of Good Counsel bless you as you continue in your work to “speak the truth to your neighbour.”
Nancy Simms
National Chairperson of Legislation