What does post-Carter Canada look like?

This piece was published by Convivum Magazine in June 2016:

In Canada, access to palliative care varies from excellent to extremely poor based on where one lives yet euthanasia is now expected to be available anywhere at the first request. If our healthcare systems have an inexpensive and quick intervention option compared to a more expensive and time-consuming option like palliative care, an already overburdened healthcare system will likely gravitate towards the former.

Read more here.

Legalized assisted suicide increases total suicide rates

This piece was published in the Montreal Gazette on May 13, 2016:

Under Bill C-14, people in Attawapiskat who meet the criteria provided in Bill C-14 will be able to request suicide assistance and end their lives. The argument may be made that few of those suicidal in Attawapiskat would qualify for assisted suicide or euthanasia under Bill C-14. However, as the study in the October edition of the Southern Medical Journal demonstrates, general suicide rates increase, not decrease, after legalization. Overall, there has been an average of a 6.3 per cent increase in suicides (assisted and unassisted) among the states where assisted suicide was legalized.

Read more here.

Fighting to Keep our Elected Representatives Accountable

Yesterday I published the following blog post over at ActivateCFPL, The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada’s law and public policy blog:

In January 2012, the Ontario government quietly passed an amendment to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). As a result of the amendment individuals are no longer being permitted to make access to information requests for data related to the provision of abortion services.

But did the amendment intend that no information – not even generalized, non-identifying data – could be released?

The legal community was confused. A number of lawyers and law firms released commentary stating that the amendment likely applied to hospital records but not aggregate Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) billing records. However, if it didn’t apply to OHIP billing records, it would still be possible to determine how many abortions were paid for by Ontario tax-payers.

This kind of data is invaluable. In 2010, it’s estimated that over $30 million was spent on government funded abortions in Ontario. That’s no small chunk of change. Tax-payers have a right to know that.

Citizen access to government information is a basic democratic principle…

Read the rest here.

We don’t need to “re-open the abortion debate”

Because it never closed. I write about that today at EFC’s law and public policy blog, ActivateCFPL:

The abortion debate has never closed, died or ended. To argue otherwise is to argue that those who want to rationally discuss the issue are to be marginalized as fringe elements of society; that the pro-life activists who came to Ottawa last year to march for life are 19,000 anomalies; and, that their perspective is inconsistent with some greater enshrined Canadian value of “choice.”

To contend that the abortion debate is over is to declare that there is consensus in Canada on an issue where no such consensus exists. In reality, it’s an intellectually lazy attempt at discrediting those who legitimately question the appropriateness of our nation being the only western country in the world that lacks abortion legislation.

Silence for Life

photo credit: Elvert Barnes via photopin cc