Pre-Budget submission in advance of the 2021 election 

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On January 25, 2021, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, launched pre-budget consultations to hear from experts across the country about how Budget 2021 can support Canadians. As the national human-rights charity committed to improving quality of dying, protecting end-of-life rights, and helping Canadians avoid unwanted suffering, Dying With Dignity Canada prepared the submission below. We support the position of the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association, which recommends all priorities of the Framework on Palliative Care in Canada be funded. We also encourage the government to continue engaging with provincial and territorial governments around the expansion of palliative care services.

About Dying With Dignity Canada

Dying With Dignity Canada (DWDC) is the national human-rights charity committed to improving quality of dying, protecting end-of-life rights, and helping Canadians avoid unwanted suffering. We defend human rights by advocating for assisted dying rules that respect the Constitution and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, provide support to adults suffering greatly from an irremediable medical condition who wish to die on their own terms, and educate Canadians about their legal end-of-life options, including the right to medical assistance in dying (MAID), and the importance of advance care planning.

DWDC position on end-of-life care

As DWDC advocates for choice at end of life, and access to quality end-of-life care, we support the statement made by Health Canada in its 2019 Action Plan on Palliative Care: “Canadians deserve to live out their lives with dignity and in comfort, with access to care that respects their wishes and is appropriate to their needs.” DWDC also supports the goals of the Quality End-of-Life Coalition of Canada, as stated in their Blueprint for Action 2020-2025:

DWDC also advocates for home-based and in-community investment in palliative care, as a hospice-based approach may create limits by focusing on a specific location, rather than on the application of the skills and care associated with palliative care. We also support working closely with established organizations having expertise in grief and bereavement to enhance their reach and expand the contributions they are already making for those in our communities who have suffered the loss of a loved one.

Recommendations

DWDC supports the recommendations proposed by the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (CHPCA) in its pre-budget submission, one of which proposes targeting funding at the Framework on Palliative Care in Canada. Specifically, we agree with the CHPCA that all priorities of the Framework should be funded. They are:

DWDC also calls on the federal government to show continued leadership, as evidenced in its 2019 Action Plan on Palliative Care, and engage governments in Canada at all levels to take the following actions:

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