June 12, 2020: Message from CEO Helen Long

The latest update from the desk of Dying With Dignity's CEO, Helen Long. Stay tuned for regular updates on our work and current events. In this update: a roundup of our 2020 Annual General Meeting and some advocacy news.

On Sunday, June 7, 2020, Dying with Dignity Canada (DWDC) hosted our Annual General Meeting (AGM) of members.  I want to thank everyone who took the time to attend.  I am pleased to share our Board of Directors for 2020 – 2021 and know you join me in extending a warm welcome and sincere congratulations to our new directors:

New Board Members:

Wayne Cochrane, Halifax

Daphne Gilbert, Ottawa

Roslyn Goldner, Vancouver








Returning Board Members:

Jim Cowan, Halifax, Chair

Bev Heim-Myers, Burlington, Vice-Chair

Fancy Poitras, North Vancouver, Secretary

Ryan A. Webster, Toronto, Treasurer

Susan Desjardins, Ottawa

Eva Kmiecic, Val-Des-Monts

Sherry Moran, Ottawa

Dr. Chantal Perrot, Toronto

Dr. Jonathan Reggler, Courtenay


To learn more about any of our Board members, please visit the board page of our website. If you missed the meeting and would like to see presentations by staff and board members, you can access them here.

I would also like to thank our departing Board members, Dr. Isser Dubinsky, Leigh Naturkach, Bradley Peter and Dr. Derryck Smith, who completed their terms this year, for their dedication, commitment and hard work during their tenure – you will be missed!

During the AGM we also shared our 2019 Impact Report: Advancing Together.  If you missed it, you can download your copy here (French copy available for download here).  It highlights the amazing progress made by the DWDC Board, staff, and supporters last year and includes articles on advocacy, support, and education. The report features a wonderful profile of donor Jule Briese and the story of our newest council, founded by Liana Brittain. Please take a few moments to enjoy the report, and feel free to send along any feedback.

Yesterday, we learned that the Attorney General Canada filed a motion to request a second extension of five months, of the Superior Court of Quebec’s September 2019 Truchon ruling. This creates continued suffering and uncertainty for Canadians whose death is not reasonably foreseeable and who are seeking to access MAID. We also know that continued changes to the operation of Parliament mean that the five-year legislative review scheduled to begin in June will also be delayed until at least September.  

A joint statement issued by David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and Patty Hajdu, Minister of Heath, indicated, "the Government of Canada remains committed to responding to this important court ruling as quickly as possible."

That’s why we’ll be launching a new campaign so that you can tell your elected representative, as well as Ministers Lametti and Hajdu, that Bill C-7 is critically important to you. And that when Parliament resumes in September, we expect Bill C-7 and the five-year review of MAID legislation to be a priority. Watch for that communication coming soon and help us make sure that your voice is heard. 

Take care and stay safe,


Helen Long, CEO

P.S. — If you’re interested in learning a little more about me, the latest DWDC blog is an interview about my background and my road to Dying With Dignity Canada. You can read it (and see a picture of my cats!) here.

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