Provincial Resolutions Delegation Visit to BC Legislature-
The BC & Yukon CWL Resolutions delegation, (comprised of CWL President-
Prior to the meetings, 7 resolutions of priority and importance to the League and to our country had been sent in written form to the government representatives.
We were fortunate to have a separate meeting with Environment Minister, Mary Polak, a Roman Catholic, and two of her staff members to discuss the 2015 resolutions relating to the environment: Banning the Use of Neonicotinoid Pesticides and Banning Plastic Microbeads in Personal Care Products. Minister Polak had read Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si and supported the idea of members taking personal responsibility for our environment. The staffers had found, through their research, that the federal government was familiar with these concerns and was moving in the direction of these bans. We encouraged the ministry to not wait for the federal government, but to act quickly. Minister Polak also encouraged us to draw attention to the problem of organic matter being dumped into landfills. This food waste contributes to pollution, waste and greenhouse gasses. The issue of organic matter in landfills might be a good topic for a future CWL resolution.
The initial resolution presented focused on hospice and palliative care. Resolution 2007.03 Hospice Palliative Care: An Integral Component of the Canadian Health Care System affirms the CWL’s opposition to euthanasia and assisted suicide. The imminent passing of Bill C14 by the government makes access to palliative and hospice care even more critical and we emphasized the need for the provincial government to take a leadership role in providing funding for hospice and palliative care throughout our province.
With permission from our national president we also spoke about the need for the BC government to protect the rights of physicians and institutions to freedom of conscience if/when Bill C14 becomes law. We pointed out to them that it appears this decision will be left to provincial governments and we wanted them to ensure these rights were protected.
The other resolutions presented were:
Increased Early Intervention and Access to Children and Youth Mental Health Services
Enduring Power of Attorney,
Registration Process for Organ and Tissue Donation, AND
the 2 environmental resolutions.
The presentation of the resolutions was well received with pertinent and insightful comments and questions from the MLAs. In response to the Youth Mental Health resolution, we were provided with a copy of the January 2016 Final Report of the Child and Youth Mental Health in British Columbic Concrete Actions for Systemic Change. These reports are available on the BC Government website and I encourage you to take time to read them.
We joined MLA John Martin (Chilliwack) in the Legislative Dining Room for lunch, and then attended the Speaker’s Gallery for Question Period and were introduced to the Legislature by MLA Martin.
The presentation of our resolutions to government members is an honor and a privilege to be valued. The MLAs respect the resolutions work of the Catholic Women’s League and the exchange of ideas is an education for them and for us, and it is very worthwhile.
Dianne Barker, Resolutions Chairperson