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Results: 1 - 14 of 14
View Kevin Sorenson Profile
CPC (AB)
Madam Speaker, the third petition is signed by a group of petitioners who are calling on the House of Commons to specifically identify hospice palliative care as a defined medicinal service covered under the Canada Health Act.
In the speech given by the member for Langley—Aldergrove, he spoke a lot about palliative care.
View Kelly McCauley Profile
CPC (AB)
View Kelly McCauley Profile
2019-04-12 12:11 [p.27056]
Mr. Speaker, as the former president of the Greater Victoria Eldercare Foundation, Vancouver Island's largest hospital foundation supporting seniors, I am very pleased to present petitions from several hundred constituents, as well as people across the country, calling on the government to establish a national strategy on palliative care.
View Dane Lloyd Profile
CPC (AB)
View Dane Lloyd Profile
2019-03-19 13:14 [p.26133]
Mr. Speaker, I also wish to table a petition from constituents across Canada. It is related to the recent decision by the Supreme Court, Carter v. Canada, to allow euthanasia and assisted dying for competent and consenting adults. These petitioners believe that without a national palliative care strategy and without resources from the government to ensure that adequate palliative care services are available, no consent can be given.
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
CPC (AB)
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
2019-03-19 13:15 [p.26134]
Mr. Speaker, the second petition is in support of establishing a national strategy on palliative care.
View Kelly McCauley Profile
CPC (AB)
View Kelly McCauley Profile
2019-03-01 12:16 [p.26025]
Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise to present a petition signed by several hundred constituents from my riding and across the country.
The petitioners note that is it impossible for a person to give informed consent to assisted suicide or euthanasia if appropriate palliative care is unavailable to them. They therefore call upon Parliament to establish a national strategy for palliative care.
View Blaine Calkins Profile
CPC (AB)
View Blaine Calkins Profile
2017-06-09 12:13 [p.12419]
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, on behalf of my constituents and people from all over western Canada, several petitions. The first couple of petitions deal with health and with palliative care.
The petitioners are calling on the government to do more for palliative care.
View Kelly McCauley Profile
CPC (AB)
View Kelly McCauley Profile
2017-05-30 17:41 [p.11681]
Madam Speaker, I am proud to rise today in support of Bill C-277, which calls for the development of a framework to increase access to palliative care. I would like to personally thank the member for Sarnia—Lambton for introducing this private member's bill.
Years ago, while I was living in Victoria, I had the honour of serving as the president of the Greater Victoria Eldercare Foundation, Vancouver Island's largest seniors foundation, supporting six extended care hospitals. The Greater Victoria Eldercare Foundation, under my good friend executive director Lori McLeod, has developed leading community programs to assist seniors, including the annual Embrace Aging month, with initiative raising awareness about the wealth of resources and opportunities available year-round to help seniors and their families navigate the journey of aging.
I was pleased to hear recently that it has added additional palliative care facilities at its Glengarry facility. It was through my involvement with the Eldercare Foundation that I encountered first-hand the many issues that seniors and their families face now: the difficulty of obtaining proper care for seniors, proper facilities, and proper understanding of the unique situations and issues they face. I owe a lot to the many volunteers and staff whom I worked with at the Greater Victoria Eldercare Foundation, and I know they too would be supporting this excellent bill.
Alleviating the suffering of Canadians is a collective duty of the House, regardless of political agenda or party affiliation. Whether in hospitals or at home, Canadians should not have to go without the care they need simply because there is not sufficient support. Our society is capable of providing the best care for our citizens, and Bill C-277 provides a framework to utilize and implement these resources. This bill helps to promote good health while preserving the independence of Canadians in need of health support. As a Conservative, I am a proud supporter of this bill, which will invest in long-term and palliative care, which the Liberals have failed to do despite their many promises.
In 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada's decision in Carter v. Canada established that Canadians have a right to physician-assisted dying. We debated Bill C-14, and while I opposed the legislation, the House and Senate passed it and it received royal assent almost a year ago. One of the key aspects of the Carter decision, however, was its call for an advancement of palliative care as a means of increasing Canadians' access to compassionate health care. The Carter decision is intended to ensure that Canadians can make a legitimate choice regarding their own health care, and one of those options is to receive adequate palliative care, care that is focused on providing individuals who have a terminal illness with relief from pain, physical and mental stress, and the symptoms of their illness. It is intended to ensure that those who are at the end of their life can pass peacefully, with dignity and without pain.
The Carter decision enabled Canadians to pursue assisted dying, but it also established an obligation on the government to ensure all Canadians can access proper, adequate, and compassionate end-of-life care. Right now, we are not getting the job done. We are not in any imagination fulfilling our obligations as a society in caring for those in need of care. For example, a survey of pre-licensure pain curricula in the health science faculties of 10 Canadian universities shows many would-be doctors receive less training in pain management than their counterparts in veterinary medicine. I am sure my dog Hailey, who is no doubt at home on my couch right now as I speak, finds this reassuring, but as someone formerly involved in senior care, I find it quite distressing.
A survey of more than 1,100 doctors and nurses shows that those who treat fewer terminally ill patients, therefore knowing the least about symptom management, are most likely to be in favour of assisted suicide, while those with more experience in symptom management and end-of-life care tend to oppose it. Dr. Max Chochinov, a noted specialist on palliative care, explains that the will to live is directly inverse to the amount of pain, and that loss of dignity drives wanting to die and treatment of pain can improve sense of dignity.
We also have to remember the impact of terminal illness on a family: the emotional, physical, and financial struggle of caring for a loved one at the end of their life. Under the current regime, it is up to families to carry the overwhelming bulk of this burden. This system is not fair. People should not have to choose between paying bills and caring for their spouse, their parents, or their siblings.
We have heard horror stories time and time again from families who were completely ambushed by palliative and in-home care costs after their loved one got sick, and these instances are becoming more and more common. The health minister herself has acknowledged many times that Canada has a deficit in access to quality palliative care, yet despite her pledges to do more and provide more, she has neglected to take meaningful action to date. Canada's population as a whole is growing older, and seniors now outnumber children.
I said before in my speech to the RRIF financial security act—another bill that would have helped seniors, which the Liberals voted against—that we need to be ready to have the proper programs and mechanisms in place to adapt to our shifting demographics.
A recent Globe and Mail article states that according to the 2016 census, we have seen “the largest increase in the share of seniors since the first census after Confederation.” Across Canada, the increase in the share of seniors since the 2011 census “was the largest observed since 1871—a clear sign that Canada’s population is aging at a faster pace.” That figure is projected to rise even more in the coming years. The proportion of those aged 65 and older climbed to 17% of Canada's population. This is not a new phenomenon obviously.
A September 2015 Statistics Canada report noted that by 2024, 20% of our population will be over the age of 65, so we need action plans in place to address this shift, this massive wave that is going to be overtaking our health care systems. The provinces are going to be faced with an epidemic soon enough of people trying to access systems that are not capable of supporting the demand. Less than 30% of Canadians have access to this vital service, which allows them to choose to live as well as they can for as long as they can.
It is time for the government to fulfill its obligations to provide quality palliative care to all Canadians. This framework answers some of those calls, and it represents the needs of the aging population across Canada, including those in Edmonton West. The percentage of individuals in Edmonton aged 65 or older has risen to 14%, a significant figure representing thousands of individuals who will benefit from universal palliative care.
I know this bill will serve the aging population in my own riding, particularly those who find comfort in knowing that their family members and loved ones will receive the best care. No one should have to suffer through ailments alone, without the support of well-trained and compassionate health care practitioners.
Bill C-277 is required to define the services covered, to bring standard training requirements for the various levels of care providers, to come up with a plan and a mechanism to ensure consistent access for all Canadians, and to collect the data to ensure success. Good palliative care can cover a wide range of services, such as acute care, hospice care, home care, crisis care, and spiritual and psychological counselling. The creation and implementation of a palliative care framework will give Canadians access to high-quality palliative care through hospitals, home care, long-term care facilities, and residential hospices.
We need to ensure that our communities support the aging population with respect and dignity. As parliamentarians elected by our respective communities, reacting to this shift should be a priority and cannot be ignored. When I introduced my private member's bill last fall, which sought to help seniors who were being disproportionately targeted by an outdated tax measure, I heard from countless seniors across Canada who felt they were being left behind. While it is important to ensure the provinces are not pigeonholed by federal legislation, we need to acknowledge a legislative gap when we see one. Seniors need help, and no amount of discussion papers, working groups, or committee meetings will make this issue go away. We know what the issue is and we need action.
Bill C-277 is a step toward providing the much-needed support for seniors today and seniors to be. Palliative care is good, compassionate, and meaningful. Providing access to quality and affordable palliative care can help make painful decisions a little more manageable for those suffering from a terminal illness. It can also significantly help the families of those suffering, who carry the disproportionate financial and emotional burden of end-of-life care. The government needs to pass this legislation to begin the development of a framework on increasing access to palliative care.
When the Supreme Court's decision in Carter v. Canada was delivered, it included a significant and serious obligation on the government to ensure that Canadians could make a real decision on their end-of-life care. The ability to make that decision requires that the options are actually available, and today's unfortunate reality is that our palliative care system is inadequate.
As I mentioned, I would like to thank the member for Sarnia—Lambton for bringing this fantastic private member's bill forward. I am very pleased to hear my colleagues in the NDP speak so favourably toward this, and to hear that they will be supporting it. I am extremely proud that I and other members of the Conservative caucus will be supporting this very important bill.
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
CPC (AB)
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
2017-05-30 18:00 [p.11685]
Madam Speaker, I am honoured to speak in favour of Bill C-277, an act providing for the development of a national framework for palliative care in Canada. This bill is important. It would benefit Canadians right across the country and also at home in Lakeland. I would like to congratulate the member for Sarnia-Lambton for her steadfast advocacy and for highlighting this priority need across the country. I know that this bill is the result of months and months of hard work and dedication by the member, and I congratulate her.
Canadians work hard, live busy lives, and expect one day to have the option of end-of-life care. The goal of this bill is to support improved access for Canadians to palliative care by creating a national framework, with the intent of expanding the availability and quality of front-line services in communities across Canada. That result would increase options and reduce the burden on family members by providing vital end-of-life care for their loved ones. This aim supports the dignity and comfort all Canadians deserve in the final stages of their lives.
This bill is also the distillation of the work of my colleagues on the Parliamentary Committee on Palliative and Compassionate Care. The committee published an excellent report, which outlined the current Canadian landscape with respect to palliative care. Through studies and assessments, the committee conducted a full review of current palliative care options in Canada while identifying specific areas that require improvement. All Canadians and all political parties can and should support this bill.
Right now there are only 200 hospices across Canada, so there is clearly a need for universal palliative care options. The framework provided in this bill would provide a definition of palliative care and identify the training needed for palliative care in Canada. It would also consider amending the Canada Health Act to include palliative care as a guaranteed health care option. Additionally, the act would outline periodic report releases from the Minister of Health highlighting gaps and recommendations for the framework of palliative care.
I am concerned about the Liberals' approach to palliative care in Canada so far. Although the Liberals are supportive of this initiative to date, they started their mandate by making a significant promise to Canadians: an immediate $3-billion investment for home care, including palliative care. However, the Liberals have changed course a bit. They are using the urgency of palliative care in communities as a bargaining tool, a stick, in negotiations with provinces. Those provinces that have agreed to the Liberals' terms when renegotiating the health accord were given funding for both mental health and home care, while others that had not yet agreed to those terms received nothing.
This priority is too important to use as political leverage like that, because the need for palliative care will never go away. In fact, 80% of Canadians receiving palliative care are cancer patients. Right now, two out of five Canadians will develop cancer in their lifetimes, and that statistic is expected to increase by 2030. These patients deserve a comfortable end-of-life option. The problem is that 30% of Canadians do not have access to palliative care services.
The Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians says that palliative care should be available in homes, hospices, hospitals, and long-term care centres throughout Canada, but it is not. Availability depends on where one lives, how old one is, and what one is dying from. This needs to change. The CSPCP goes on to say that strategic investments in palliative care have been shown to reduce the cost of delivering care by about 30%. Presently it costs about $1,200 a day to remain in the hospital, $400 a day to remain in hospice care, and $200 a day to receive home care. To reduce these costs by at least 30% would offer more opportunities for Canadians, free up scarce resources in health care facilities, and ultimately improve the quality of life and care for patients suffering from serious and terminal illnesses.
This is important, because Canadians are suffering from chronic and terminal conditions in growing numbers. Good palliative care covers a wide range of services, such as acute care, hospice care, home care, crisis care, and spiritual and psychological counselling.
Support from Canadians is evident across the country. There have been 83 petitions on palliative care presented in the House by members of Parliament in this session alone. Thousands of letters have been received by members of Parliament on all sides of the House. I personally have received dozens of letters from constituents across Lakeland outlining the need for palliative care options, particularly for seniors, who have limited options for end-of-life care. Right now, Statistics Canada confirms that there are more seniors in Canada than children. With an increased demand for health care, hospitals, and clinics, the option for hospice care has clearly never been more important.
Communities in Lakeland are fortunate to have access to health care and consultants in all regions of the riding, but more can be done and needs to be done to ensure greater access for everyone. Remote and rural regions of the country like Lakeland do not always offer the same robust services as urban centres and highly populated areas. Regional accessibility is an important consideration for a national strategy, and one we cannot ignore.
The current palliative care options in Canada are inadequate and do not meet the needs of Canadians. That is what this framework seeks to address.
In 2011, it is estimated that only 16% to 30% of those in need were receiving proper palliative and end-of-life care. The current health care system favours short-term acute care, which it does extremely well, but experts report that the system lacks the capacity and the funding to properly and consistently provide quality long-term palliative care. The cost of acute care is four times that of hospice palliative care, so clearly there is an opportunity to provide long-term, consistent care responsibly. It is a challenge that provincial governments and elected representatives at all levels face and must take on.
The proper training of medical practitioners and nurse practitioners is an important step in creating a comprehensive and well-equipped palliative care structure. On average, medical and nursing students spend as little as 20 hours of their four years of study learning about palliative and end-of-life care. In 2011, there were fewer than 200 geriatricians in Canada. Today, the estimated need is upwards of 600.
Bill C-277 would also have a positive impact on the lives of caregivers. In 2011, there were an estimated four million to five million family caregivers in Canada. They contribute $25 billion to the health care system. These same selfless caregivers often bear a heavier financial burden and have to miss one or more months of work because of their duties. Family caregivers provide 80% of all home care in Canada, and 77% of these caregivers are women.
These numbers are not to be taken lightly. Caregivers experience financial, social, and physical burdens that can have lasting effects on their lives. The Canadian Cancer Society says that Canadian caregivers are the invisible backbone of the health care system, providing $25 billion in unpaid care.
This added support would encourage palliative care in the home, which has been demonstrated to be beneficial for everyone involved. Allowing patients to stay in their homes for as long as possible is a compassionate choice that should be available to every Canadian. We have a duty to those Canadians.
Many Canadians who require palliative care are seniors or veterans. Seniors built our communities, founded our businesses, created opportunities for future generations, and supported our economy. Seniors built this great country, fought in wars, raised their kids, and laid the foundation for the free and prosperous Canada in which we are so fortunate to live.
It is our fundamental responsibility to ensure that the most vulnerable are taken care of, and when these individuals, who have done so much for us, need the most support, it is Canada's turn to give back to them. That is a core reason that I support this important bill. I encourage all members of the House to do the same.
I thank my colleague again for all of the good work she has done in bringing forward this pressing need.
View John Barlow Profile
CPC (AB)
View John Barlow Profile
2017-05-09 19:19 [p.11002]
Mr. Speaker, it truly is an honour to rise in the House today to speak to an issue about which I am very passionate. I wanted to have the opportunity to speak to this important legislation, brought forward by my colleague the member for Sarnia—Lambton, who is seeking to develop a framework for palliative care in Canada. This is an extremely important issue.
I enjoyed listening to the speeches from my colleagues, but I would like to start my speech off on a different tangent. I would like to look back to a very crisp winter day in 2012. In my previous career, I was the editor of a local community newspaper. I distinctly remember getting a phone call one afternoon asking if I would be willing to come down to the Foothills Country Hospice to cover an interesting story that was unfolding. It was a story about a man, Greg Garvan. He was in the Foothills Country Hospice, unfortunately, with a rare form of cancer. Knowing he was in his final days, he was really hoping to have one thing before his life ended. He was hoping to have one last visit with two of his favourite companions. Mr. Garvan was a horseman. He enjoyed the country living in rural southern Alberta, and certainly as any rancher and cowboy would know, he wanted to spend some time with his friends. His two friends were his two horses, Kiwi and Russell. The Foothills Country Hospice staff on that very cold winter's day wrapped Greg up in a blanket, rolled his bed out into the parking lot of the hospice, and there were his two horses, Russell and Kiwi.
It was very difficult, I must admit, to take photos that day and talk to the staff without having a tear in my eye. There are certainly not too many other staff or institutions that would have taken that kind of effort and passion and shown how much their patients and patients' families meant to them, to ensure they were able to make the dying wish of one of their friends come true. We have photos of Russell and Kiwi snuggling right up to Greg, wrapped in his blanket in his bed, in the parking lot of the Foothills Country Hospice.
To cap off the day, Greg's mother, who is from New Zealand, was staying in Okotoks. This was in early December. The staff at the hospice held an early Christmas dinner for Greg and his family, at the hospice. I am sure that was a memorable day in what was a difficult time for his family. It certainly was not one they will soon forget.
Those of us who do not have the fortune of having a hospice in our communities certainly would not have the opportunity to understand the wonderful things that hospice staff can do. I am very honoured that we have the Foothills Country Hospice in our community.
That really highlights the debate today. When we have an opportunity to have a facility like a hospice, with the ability and the things it is able to do for its community and its patients, I find it unfortunate that not everyone in Canada has the opportunity to experience that as an end-of-life option. The stats I have seen show less than 30% actually have access to a hospice facility. That is truly unfortunate.
Some of my colleagues have talked about how this really came to a head, and it is how I became more interested in the hospice facility and its lack of access for other Canadians. This was a very prominent issue during the debates on doctor-assisted dying. It was a very difficult issue for my constituents. I held four town hall meetings throughout my riding in Foothills and southwest Alberta. I had hundreds of people attend the town halls. I also sent out a survey to my constituents asking them how they felt about the doctor-assisted dying legislation. I had 4,000 responses to that survey, which was a very high response rate, along with the carbon tax.
My constituents were very torn on how they felt about doctor-assisted dying. It was a very difficult issue. Some were adamantly opposed. Some were adamantly in favour. The one theme that went through all my town halls and through those surveys was the importance of offering palliative care as part of that legislation.
If the government was to provide doctor-assisted dying, my constituents wanted to ensure there were resources in place and that a framework for palliative care would also be a part of that legislation.
It was very clear that my constituents wanted some options. One of those options, if we were truly going to have doctor-assisted dying, was that Canadians had to understand that they had another option, and that option was end-of-life care through hospice.
What has made this so profound and so loud and clear in my constituency is that we have the Foothills Country Hospice. Many other constituents and many other Canadians do not have that.
We are certainly blessed in my constituency to have the hospice, but also to have the people who work so hard to make it a reality. It has been about 10 years since the hospice was opened, but it has been almost 20 years since my constituents worked hard to make this project come to fruition.
I really want to take the opportunity to thank a few people who were instrumental in ensuring this hospice became a reality in rural Alberta, people like Dr. Eric Wasylenko and his wife Louise, David and Leslie Bissett, Jean Quigley, Dr. Jim Hansen, Doug and Susan Ramsay, Beth Kish and Dawn Elliott, Mark Cox, and the Council of the Municipal District (MD) of Foothills in the town of Okotoks. These people worked extremely hard to make this project a reality.
The annual budget for the Foothills Country Hospice is about $2.8 million. The province has picked up a significant part of that budget, but the community is also being asked to raise close to $1 million or more each and every year to ensure the hospice is able to operate. One of the wonderful stories about the hospice is to see the community buy into it and each year come forward to raise that type of money. It also shows that this is not an easy task, when it comes to having a hospice in a community.
We cannot have these types of facilities and the wonderful people who work in them without support from all three levels of government. That is why this private member's bill is so important. We need to develop a framework to ensure we can have the resources there to offer hospice care to Canadians, but also to ensure we have the resources there to make it a reality. That is what we are missing.
I know on both sides of the floor, during the doctor-assisted dying debate, many of us wanted an amendment as part of that legislation to ensure there was funding available for hospice. I am encouraged to see support among all parties in the House to ensure this becomes a reality. It is one thing to talk about it, but we have to ensure we provide the resources and the commitment as a federal government. As we proceed with doctor-assisted dying, one of the most important parts of that is also to ensure we have a framework for hospice care and a commitment that it is funded.
I spent a lot of time talking about the Foothills Country Hospice in my riding. I thought it was important to put a personal face on this service. I know many of us talk about hospice care and that it is an important option for that end of life. I have been through it many times, I have toured, and talked to the nurses, the doctors, and the many wonderful volunteers and staff that take their time to work there. It is hard to explain a hospice unless people have had an opportunity to experience it. Unfortunately, that is not something many of us want to experience, but it is a life-changing option.
As parliamentarians, we have to get across the fact that this truly brings a new definition to end-of-life care, that there are ways to make those difficult times as comfortable as possible for people and their families. If we are truly to have doctor-assisted dying, we must also have that other option, palliative care.
I want to again thank my colleague from Sarnia—Lambton for all the work she has done, which has been yeoman's work, to make this a reality. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the floor to ensure this becomes a reality.
View Jim Eglinski Profile
CPC (AB)
View Jim Eglinski Profile
2016-10-28 12:10 [p.6285]
Madam Speaker, I wish to present two petitions, both dealing with palliative care.
They highlight the fact that the House of Commons in the last Parliament unanimously supported a motion calling on the government to create a national strategy on palliative care. Therefore, the petitioners are calling on this Parliament to carry on that work and to create a national strategy on palliative care to make sure that every Canadian has an opportunity to have high-quality palliative care at the end of his or her life.
View Jim Eglinski Profile
CPC (AB)
View Jim Eglinski Profile
2016-10-21 12:12 [p.5974]
Madam Speaker, I would like to present a petition that states that it is impossible for a person to give informed consent to assisted suicide or euthanasia if appropriate palliative care is unavailable to them.
Therefore, the petitioners are calling on Parliament to establish a national strategy on palliative care.
View Michael Cooper Profile
CPC (AB)
View Michael Cooper Profile
2016-10-03 15:33 [p.5391]
Mr. Speaker, it is a great privilege to rise in the House to present a petition signed by dozens of my constituents calling on the government to establish hospice palliative care as a defined service under the Canada Health Act.
The Minister of Health has conceded that up to 70% of Canadians do not have access to palliative care, and the petitioners are calling on the government to make palliative care accessible and available to all Canadians by taking this step.
View Arnold Viersen Profile
CPC (AB)
View Arnold Viersen Profile
2016-06-09 10:09 [p.4242]
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition signed by residents from the town of Slave Lake in my riding.
In previous Parliaments, members of this House strongly rejected assisted suicide and supported better palliative care.
As such these petitioners call on the Parliament of Canada to adopt the strongest possible legislation against legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia, and instead establish a national strategy on palliative care.
View Jim Eglinski Profile
CPC (AB)
View Jim Eglinski Profile
2016-05-13 12:07 [p.3326]
Mr. Speaker, it is impossible for people to give informed consent to assisted suicide/euthanasia if appropriate palliative care is unavailable to them.
Therefore, I am pleased to present two petitions calling upon Parliament to create a national strategy on palliative care to ensure that every Canadian has access to high-quality palliative care at the end of life.
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