The latest update from the desk of Dying With Dignity Canada's CEO, Helen Long.
2021 will be a critical year for end-of-life choice in Canada. We’ve got an ambitious agenda for the year ahead, and it’s your generous support and commitment that have kept us motivated during this long and difficult year. While there were many challenges in 2020, it’s hard to believe it’s already coming to a close.
Yesterday, Bill C-7 passed second reading in the Senate and was referred to the Legal & Constitutional Affairs Committee. Senate will resume on February 2, 2021 and we expect that Bill C-7 will be top of mind when the proceedings start up again. Thanks to your incredible mobilization, over 193,000 letters have arrived in the email inboxes of Senators across the country in the last ten days. They are definitely aware that this issue is of critical importance for Canadians. If you haven’t sent a letter, click here to do so today.
The government was also granted an extension on the December 18, 2020 deadline to address the Truchon decision, with a new deadline of February 26, 2021 being proposed by Minister Lametti and accepted by the Quebec Superior Court. This means that in late January, when Members of Parliament return, we’ll be asking you to get involved to ensure that Bill C-7 is passed and that those being denied their constitutional right to access MAID will finally be able to do so.
Many of you have also been following the Take Back Delta Hospice campaign – one that aims to ensure that patient choice and dignity in end-of-life care and rights are preserved for those at the Delta Hospice, in Delta BC. Their efforts to recruit members continue, and time is short. Click here to learn more about how you can get involved.
While the holidays won’t be the same this year, there are still opportunities to connect with your loved ones by phone or video. Recently, we released our new and improved Advance Care Planning Kit, a document intended to provoke thinking and communication around your wishes for health care and treatment at end-of-life. I’ll be having this conversation with my family over the holiday break and I would encourage you to do the same. It’s never too early.
For the first time in DWDC's history, our organization participated in Giving Tuesday on December 1. Taking place every year after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday is an international day of recognition and support for the charities and causes we care about. Our team set a goal to raise $10,000 on our first Giving Tuesday. I'm thrilled to report that, together, we raised $43,177! We are truly grateful for the generosity of new and existing donors alike and look forward to the changes that will be realized thanks to your gifts.
Earlier, I alluded to our ambitious agenda for 2021. And it is.
But we can’t do it alone. Since arriving in March of 2020, I’ve been consistently amazed, inspired and thankful for you – the people who support and motivate Dying With Dignity Canada’s commitment to improving quality of dying, protecting end-of-life rights and helping Canadians avoid unwanted suffering. Your support and encouragement has only deepened my commitment to this cause.
As we end the year, I want to thank you for everything you’ve done to help us take action in 2020 and to ask that you stay with us in 2021 – there’s still so much to accomplish.
Wishing you and yours a very happy holiday and looking forward to continuing to advance end-of-life rights together in 2021,
P.S. If you would like to give one final gift to advance end-of-life rights for all Canadians, and receive a 2020 charitable tax receipt, donations are being matched by an anonymous donor until midnight on December 31. You can donate here.