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432-00167 (Health)

Paper petition

Original language of petition: English


WE, THE UNDERSIGNED RESIDENTS OF CANADA, draw the attention of the House to the following:

THAT in the 41st Parliament, the House of Commons unanimously passed a motion calling on the Government to create a national strategy on palliative care to ensure every Canadian has access to high quality palliative care at the end of life;

THAT in Carter v Canada (AG), the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that competent and consenting adults who have a grievous and irremediable medical condition that causes enduring and intolerable suffering should be allowed to access physician-assisted suicide/euthanasia;

THAT it is impossible for a person to give informed consent to assisted suicide/euthanasia if appropriate palliative care is unavailable to them. THEREFORE your petitioners call upon Parliament to establish a National Strategy on Palliative Care.

the Minister of Health

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): Darren Fisher

Our Government recognizes the importance of respecting the wishes of Canadians living with life-limiting illnesses regarding their care.

The Government of Canada is pleased to have supported Bill C-277, An Act providing for the Development of a Framework on Palliative Care, which received Royal Assent on December 12, 2017.  This Act required the Minister of Health, in consultation with provinces, territories and palliative care providers, to develop a framework to support improved access to palliative care, and table it in Parliament by December 13, 2018. The Framework on Palliative Care in Canada, tabled on December 4, 2018, focuses on key areas to support improved access to palliative care across the country, such as training and supports for health care providers and other caregivers; research and data collection, and identifying measures to facilitate consistent access to palliative care.

As well, on December 3, 2017, the Government of Canada created a new Employment Insurance Family Caregiver benefit of up to 15 weeks, which will cover a broader range of situations where individuals are providing care to an adult family member. Parents of critically ill children will continue to have access to up to 35 weeks of benefits, with additional flexibility to share these benefits with more family members.

Furthermore, through Budget 2017, the Government of Canada provided $6 billion over ten years for provinces and territories to improve access to home and community care services, including palliative care.  Details of the bilateral agreements, including how federal funding will be spent, can be found on Health Canada’s website at:

On August 27, 2019, Health Canada released an Action Plan on Palliative Care, which lays out Health Canada’s five-year plan to tackle issues identified in the Framework on Palliative Care in Canada. Using federal levers, it aims to help improve quality of life for people with life-limiting illness, address concerns of families and caregivers, and enhance access to quality palliative care, through improved health care system performance. The Action Plan complements financial support to provinces and territories under the aforementioned bilateral agreements and other initiatives underway across the country.


In addition, there have been and will continue to be targeted federal investments that help to improve palliative care in a number of key areas that are consistent with Bill C-277, the Framework and the Action Plan.  For example, Health Canada provided $6 million in funding to Pallium Canada to enhance their Learning Essential Approaches to Palliative Care (LEAP), which trains a broad spectrum of health care professions to deliver a palliative approach to care. To date, 30,000 LEAP Learners have enhanced their ability to care for their end-of-life patients, using a palliative approach. Furthermore, on May 10, 2019, the Minister of Health announced funding of more than $4.5 million to support three projects that aim to improve access to palliative care at home and in the community. This includes expansion of existing virtual services and resources for palliative care and grief support to meet the needs of underserved communities, such as families caring for a dying child, Francophones, and the LGBTQ2 community. These and future initiatives will support increased access to quality palliative care in communities across the country.

Our ongoing collaboration with provincial and territorial governments and key stakeholders will help to foster a more sustainable health care system that delivers high-quality patient-centred care and respects the care preferences of Canadians, including those at the end of life.

Presented to the House of Commons
Arnold Viersen (Peace River—Westlock)
October 28, 2020 (Petition No. 432-00167)
Government response tabled
December 11, 2020
Photo - Arnold Viersen
Peace River—Westlock
Conservative Caucus

Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.

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