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Bill C-7 - Medical Assistance in Dying - Message from the House

Honourable senators, I rise today to speak on the message from the other place on Bill C-7. I dedicate this speech to the First Nations and disability communities who continue to courageously fight for a better world for the people and the communities which they advocate and speak for. The Liberal Government’s commitment to renewing a nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous peoples in Canada has been made with promises to make progress “on issues most important to First Nations, the Métis…
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Bill C-7 - Medical Assistance in Dying - Third Reading

Honourable senators, I rise today to speak to third reading of Bill C-7. In a meeting I had with a chief yesterday, he said, “We have ugly politics on the reserves, but at critical times —” referring to funerals, “— we bury the hatchet and we work together.” Colleagues, where do I come from when I speak to you, one senator to another? I don’t look at education or degrees, at privilege or at hierarchy. My main responsibility is to get First Nations and the disability community’s concerns on Bill…
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Bill C-7 - Medical Assistance in Dying - Conscience Rights

Honourable senators, I rise to speak to the theme of conscience rights under Bill C-7. I feel this is the appropriate theme and the right time to voice my concern over the direction that this debate has gone at certain times. In a discussion around conscience rights and the expectation that this bill places on medical practitioners, many without their consent, an equally valid discussion is the conscience rights of senators as we debate, amend and vote on this bill. I think most of our colleagu…
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Bill C-7 - Medical Assistance in Dying - Indigenous Consultation

Honourable senators, I rise today on debate on Bill C-7. Once again, I speak to you from the perspective of a First Nations woman and a health professional who practised on reserves in Manitoba since 1973. During that time, I’ve had many conversations with grassroots people to leaders in Manitoba and throughout Canada regarding the plight of the descendants of Canada’s original peoples. As I have previously stated, assisted dying was never one of those conversations. However, assistance to a g…
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Bill C-7 - Medical Assistance in Dying - Senator Jaffer's Amendment

Honourable senators, I rise to speak in support of Senator Jaffer’s amendment to Bill C-7. Much like Senator Jaffer, I have serious concerns and misgivings about how such a critical life-and-death piece of government-driven legislation could be lacking in such a fundamental way with regard to the analysis undertaken at the outset of the drafting process, as well as its shortcomings in protecting vulnerable and minority groups. In a letter sent to the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Const…
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Bill C-7 - Medical Assistance in Dying - Senator Plett's Amendment

Honourable senators, I rise today to speak on Senator Plett’s amendment to Bill C-7. I, too, am concerned about where this debate is going. It is not going in the direction that First Nations and the disability community want it to go. I’ve worked on reserve as a health professional for over 30 years. In January 2021, I went to my home reserve to provide service at a dental clinic. On my travel there, I spoke to many nurses and doctors regarding MAID. Many were unaware of this bill, just as the…
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