OTTAWA, ON April 3, 2014 – The Catholic Civil Rights League today expressed its support for Motion M-456. Introduced by MP Charlie Angus (NDP – Timmins-James Bay), the motion was seconded by Conservative MPs Maurice Vellacott and Harold Albrecht after its first hour of parliamentary debate on April 1.

The motion calls on the federal government to develop a nation-wide palliative and end-of-life care strategy: “That, in the opinion of the House, the government should establish a Pan-Canadian Palliative and End-of-life Care Strategy by working with provinces and territories on a flexible, integrated model of palliative care that: (a) takes into account the geographic, regional, and cultural diversity of urban and rural Canada as well as Canada’s First Nation, Inuit and Métis people; (b) respects the cultural, spiritual and familial needs of all Canadians; and (c) has the goal of (i) ensuring all Canadians have access to high quality home-based and hospice palliative end-of-life care, (ii) providing more support for caregivers, (iii) improving the quality and consistency of home and hospice palliative end-of-life care in Canada, (iv) encouraging Canadians to discuss and plan for end-of-life care.”

Joanne McGarry, League executive director, said the availability of good care at the end of the life is essential in addressing the need some people believe exists for euthanasia and assisted suicide. “Many Canadians do not have timely access to palliative care,” said Ms. McGarry. “It’s crucial that options such as pain management, home and hospice care and other palliative tools are available to people when they need them.”

In 2011, the all-party Parliamentary Committee on Palliative Care published its report, “Not to be Forgotten: Care of Vulnerable Canadians.” The League submitted a paper to the committee urging a strong commitment to a greater range of options for palliative care and better access to it.

That committee’s report came out with 14 recommendations, including the development and implementation of a national palliative and end-of-life care strategy, the development of a flexible integrated model of palliative health care delivery, able to take into account the geographic, regional and cultural diversity of Canada, strengthening of the home care delivery program for First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities, developing home delivered palliative care resources, sensitive to community, cultural, familial and spiritual needs, and the expansion of E.I.-based compassionate care benefit provisions and the setting up of a Canada Pension credit for family caregivers.

About CCRL
Catholic Civil Rights League ( assists in creating conditions within which Catholic teachings can be better understood, cooperates with other organizations in defending civil rights in Canada, and opposes defamation and discrimination against Catholics on the basis of their beliefs. CCRL was founded in 1985 as an independent lay organization and has chapters across Canada. The Catholic Civil Rights League is a Canadian non-profit organization entirely supported by the generosity of its members.

For further information:
Joanne McGarry, Executive Director, 416-466-8244;