Ottawa, ON – May 15, 2017 – The Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) is encouraged by the positive comments from the Government of Canada on Bill C-277, a An Act providing for the development of a framework on palliative care in Canada, suggesting the Bill could receive swift approval. Being debated before the House of Commons, CASW is hopeful that Canadians will soon benefit from timely implementation of such a framework.
“We have long called for increased equity and federal leadership for a better Canada,” began CASW President Jan Christianson-Wood, “and a national framework for palliative care is an important piece of the puzzle, and with our ageing population, it’s time to recognize that palliative care should not be a siloed service, but a right for all Canadians – available when and where they require it.”
Bill C-277, a Private Member’s Bill sponsored by MP Marilyn Gladu, has been recognized by many stakeholders and policy makers as both crucial and timely. The bill responds to the inequity of palliative funding across Canada and advocates for a stable pan-Canadian definition of services included under the palliative umbrella.
“From CASW’s perspective, this bill addresses a number of our advocacy asks,” continued Christianson Wood. “Bill C-277 is certainly in line with the principles behind our proposed Social Care Act – which puts forward principles similar to those of the Canada Health Act to guide the Canada Social Transfer in the goal of equity and accountability.”
Additionally, CASW’s advocacy work around Bill C-14, the legislation legalizing medical assistance in dying, noted that no Canadian should pursue MAiD due to a lack of appropriate or accessible pain management and palliative services.
“We were adamant that the discussion around MAiD not take place in a vacuum, outside of the broader end of life care dialogue,” added Christianson-Wood. “The idea that a Canadian would select MAiD because they cannot access the pain management they need is simply egregious. Bill C-277 would certainly help address this concern.”
CASW looks forward to supporting this government in the swift development of such a pan-Canadian strategy for palliative care under the direction of Bill C-277.
For further information:
Fred Phelps, MSW, RSW
CASW Executive Director