For Immediate Release
Monday, January 25, 2020
OTTAWA, ON – UN experts have seen a growing and disturbing global trend: governments allowing access to assisted death based largely on having a disability or disabling condition. Today, three UN special rapporteurs, those responsible for the human rights of people with disabilities, people living in poverty, and seniors, released a statement of alarm which ought to stop the Canadian government’s plan of ramming through the harmful Bill C-7.
Bill C-7, which is before the Senate, introduces a pathway to death for people who are not dying as long as they have a disability or a disabling medical condition. The rapporteurs’ message echoes groups representing people with disabilities in Canada which have consistently opposed Bill C-7.
Robin Acton, President of Inclusion Canada, responded, “We have told Members of Parliament and the Senate that Bill C-7 is dangerous, discriminatory, and puts the lives of people with disabilities at risk. The government has repeatedly refused to listen. Now, the world is listening and it’s time for Canada to hear and respect our voice. The UN statement confirms our position that Bill C-7 sends the message that the lives of people with disabilities are worth less.”
The UN statement warns states around the world by saying that “disability should never be a ground or justification to end someone’s life directly or indirectly.” Legislation like Bill C-7 would entrench discrimination against people with disabilities and violate the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which Canada has signed and ratified.
During a global pandemic, when people with disabilities have been focused on surviving day to day, Canada continues to rush Bill C-7 through the parliamentary process. The Senate’s Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee will reconvene on February 1st to begin a second study of the bill. The Senate holds the power to stop Bill C-7 from moving forward and ensure Canada does not become a nation known for devaluing the lives of people with disabilities.
Krista Carr, Executive Vice President of Inclusion Canada challenged “We all take pride that Canada is a leader in the advancement of human rights. To honour this commitment to human rights at home, we call upon our lawmakers to stop this bill. The world is watching.”
Read the full UN release here.
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Media Contact: Marc Muschler, Senior Communications Officer, Inclusion Canada, firstname.lastname@example.org
Inclusion Canada is a national federation of 13 provincial-territorial associations and over 300 local associations working to advance the full inclusion and human rights of people with an intellectual disability and their families. We lead the way in building an inclusive Canada by strengthening families, defending rights, and transforming communities into places where everyone belongs.