RESOLUTIONS – CURRENT LIST AND FULL DOCUMENT

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The National Council of Women of Canada Resolutions – 2015

MEMO TO ALL LOCAL COUNCILS, PROVINCIAL COUNCILS, STUDY GROUPS AND NATIONALLY ORGANIZED SOCIETIES

This resolutions package contains 8 resolutions and 2 policy updates.  As requested at the AGM, the resolutions are presented in both the Traditional format and the Plain Language format for you to judge which you prefer. Please review them and submit amendments to the NCWC Resolutions Convener by:

 March 31, 2015 with copies to the National Office.

Resolutions Convener: Mary Potter jmpotter068@gmail.com

National Office: ncwc@magma.ca

When amendments are proposed, please indicate the Council or NOS submitting the amendment and a contact name and address.  Amendments are not allowed to alter the intent of the original resolution, but the rest of the text along with the title, are open to change.

In the AGM docket, the proposed amendments to the resolutions will be listed after the text of the resolution, and the original resolution will be edited by the Resolutions Committee with those amendments that we think improve the resolution.  The edited resolutions will be presented for debate but amendments submitted and not included in the resolution may still be debated.  Proposers will be entitled to introduce the resolution at the AGM and give a two minute rationale.

Policy Updates and Emerging Issues may still be submitted until March 31.  After March 31, only emerging issues which relate to national concerns arising after that date shall be brought to the AGM.

NCWC Resolutions Committee

Mary Potter, Convener

Marjorie Windeler

Muriel Smith

 

COMPLETE POLICY:   Click below for the full document:

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LIST OF POLICY:

2015.01             TERRORISM AND WOMEN’S PEACE AND SECURITY – RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT (R2P)

2015.02             MAXIMIZE REMOVAL OF CHEMICALS & PHARMACEUTICALS FROM WASTEWATERS BEFORE RELEASING INTO THE ENVIRONMENT

2015.03             ACCESS TO HEALTH SERVICES FOR REFUGEES AND REFUGEE CLAIMANTS

2015.04             MORATORIUM ON THE USE OF NEONICOTINOID PESTICIDES ON FARM CROPS

Policy Update

2015.01PU        CURRICULUM OF MEDICAL FACULTIES PERTAINING TO ELECTIVE EARLY TERMINATION OF PREGNANCY

 

#1 TERRORISM AND WOMEN’S PEACE AND SECURITY – RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT (R2P)

Proposed by the Convener of Citizenship, Immigration and Global Affairs

Whereas #1    according to the United Nations, “Responsibility to Protect” means that it is the role of the international community to ensure that populations are protected from genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing; and

Whereas #2    human slavery, rape, genocide, sexual exploitation and recruitment of child soldiers are still carried out in war; and

Whereas #3    traditional United Nations Peacekeeping Operations are ineffective in preventing these crimes; and

Whereas #4    terrorist groups do not engage in peace talks; therefore be it

Resolved #1   that the National Council of Women of Canada (NCWC) adopt as policy that military force be used in crimes against humanity; and be it further

Resolved #2   that NCWC urge the Government of Canada to intervene militarily to enforce peace in areas of conflict declared Level Three Security Threats, i.e. Maximum Security Threats, by the United Nations Security Council.

PLAIN LANGUAGE FORMAT

Policy Statement

The National Council of Women of Canada (NCWC) adopts as policy that military force be used in crimes against humanity.

Request of Government

NCWC urges the Government of Canada to intervene militarily to enforce peace in areas of conflict declared Level Three Security Threats, i.e. Maximum Security Threats, by the United Nations Security Council.

Rationale

According to the United Nations, “Responsibility to Protect” means that it is the role of the international community to ensure that populations are protected from genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing.

Human slavery, rape, genocide, sexual exploitation and recruitment of child soldiers are still carried out in war and traditional United Nations Peacekeeping Operations are ineffective in preventing these crimes.  Also, terrorist groups do not engage in peace talks.

Background

By definition peacekeeping is only applicable when two antagonistic parties are in armed conflict and by a common agreement both parties, for a period of time, agreed to cease fire while working together to find ways and means to establish a permanent solution for a lasting peace.

Terrorist groups will not take part in peace talks or negotiations to allow any cease fire to take place.  Consequently, the concept of peace-enforcement would be applicable in accordance with Responsibility to Protect (R2P).  Canada has traditionally adopted and applied R2P when necessary in unison with its allies.

R2P was unanimously endorsed by the 2005 World Summit and later adopted as a General Assembly resolution.  The World Summit Outcome Document stated that the International community has the responsibility to use appropriate diplomatic, humanitarian and other peaceful means to help protect populations from war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.  We are prepared to take collective action should peaceful means be inadequate to protect populations.

This commitment to R2P has been reaffirmed twice by the UN Security Council and the General Assembly committed itself to ongoing consideration of its implementation.

The current conflicts in some Developing Countries in the Middle-East and Africa are the results of inter-ethnic and inter-religious political tension promoted through hate speech, discrimination and violence. The immediate most vulnerable victims of this situation are women and children as well as some targeted ethnic and religious groups. Consequently, sexual slavery and rape are being used as weapons of war and elimination of particular groups through systematic organized killings. In this context, the traditional United Nations Peacekeeping Operations in place some 20 years ago become ineffective in particular for genocide prevention. It is therefore important to redefine the intervention (action) in such conflicts and accordingly the concept of Early Steps for Genocide Prevention becomes important. It is to be noted that the rise of extreme terrorist groups such as ISIS and Al-Nusra born in Iraq and Syria from an extreme religious ideology is the newest phenomenon which is rapidly becoming a global threat.

References:

http://www.r2pasiapacific.org/docs/In%20the%20Media/UNA-UK%20Alex%20J%20Bellamy%20R2P%20Briefing%20Report%20no.%201.pdf

http://natocouncil.ca/canada-nato-and-the-responsibility-to-protect/

http://www.worldfederalistscanada.org/documents/AxworthyE.pdf

http://www.peacewomen.org/pages/about-1325

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2014/10/02/U-N-ISIS-uses-women-girls-as-sex-slaves.html

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/02/us-mideast-crisis-un-idUSKCN0HR0R120141002

 

#2 MAXIMIZE REMOVAL OF CHEMICALS & PHARMACEUTICALS FROM WASTEWATERS BEFORE RELEASING INTO THE ENVIRONMENT

Proposed by Council of Women of Winnipeg

Whereas #1    technology has evolved to such a point that it now allows scientists to note extremely small amounts of substances in the water; and

Whereas #2    there are increasing risks around the potability of water because of ingestion and elimination by an increasing number of people who rely on medication to deal with health issues; and

Whereas #3    Environment Canada informed the Senate in February 2014 of the fact that 164 chemicals have been identified in trace amounts in the water of Canadian lakes and waterways for the first time in North America; and

Whereas #5    a report on a river in Southern Ontario showed the feminization of fish due to trace amounts of hormones from birth control medications found in the water; and

Whereas #7    the possible toxic cocktail caused by the infinite number of potential interactions between many compounds exacerbates the risks of toxicity; therefore be it

Resolved #1   that the National Council of Women of Canada (NCWC) adopt as policy that waste waters be treated to maximize the removal of chemicals and pharmaceuticals before releasing them into  the environment; and be it further

Resolved #2   that NCWC urge the Government of Canada to require all communities to treat waste water to maximize the removal of chemicals and pharmaceuticals before releasing waste water into the environment; and be it further

Resolved #3   that National Council of Women of Canada urge the Local and Provincial Councils of Women to lobby their respective levels of government to prioritize effective treatment of their community‘s waste water to maximize the removal of chemicals and pharmaceuticals before releasing  them into the environment; and be it further

Resolved #4   that National Council of Women of Canada raise the issue with the International Council of Women so that the ICW/CIF can address the issue with its federates.

PLAIN LANGUAGE FORMAT

Policy Statement

The National Council of Women of Canada (NCWC) adopts as policy that waste waters be treated to maximize the removal of chemicals and pharmaceuticals before releasing them into the environment.

Request of Government

NCWC urges the Government of Canada to require all communities to treat waste water to maximize the removal of chemicals and pharmaceuticals before releasing waste water into the environment.

Request of Other Councils

NCWC urges the Local and Provincial Councils of Women to lobby their respective levels of government to prioritize effective treatment of their communities’ waste waters to maximize the removal of chemicals and pharmaceuticals before releasing them into the environment.

NCWC will raise the issue with the International Council of Women so that the ICW/CIF can address the issue with its federates.

Rationale

Technology has evolved to such a point that it now allows scientists to note extremely small amounts of substances in the water. There are increasing risks around the potability of water because of ingestion and elimination by an increasing number of people who rely on medication to deal with health issues. Environment Canada informed the Senate in February 2014 of the fact that 164 chemicals have been identified in trace amounts in the water of Canadian lakes and waterways for the first time in North     America; and a report on a river in Southern Ontario showed the feminization of fish due to trace amounts of hormones from birth control medications found in the water.  The possible toxic cocktail caused by the infinite number of potential interactions between many compounds exacerbates the risks of toxicity.

BACKGROUND

  1. Contaminants of Emerging Concern in Effluents from Wastewater Treatment Plants in the Lake Simcoe Watershed. Chris Metcalfe, Environmental and Resource Studies, Trent University, Peterborough, ON, April 15, 2014

http://www.trentu.ca/iws/documents/LakeSimcoeReport.pdf

 

  1. Proceedings of the Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology. Issue 10 – Evidence – April 3, 2014, Parliament of Canada.

http://www.parl.gc.ca/content/sen/committee/412%5CSOCI/10EV-51312-E.HTM

  1. “First Nations Food, Nutrition and Environment Study Results from Ontario 2011/2012” by University of Ottawa | Université de Montréal | Assembly of First Nations 2014

http://www.fnfnes.ca/docs/FNFNES_Ontario_Regional_Report_2014_final.pdf

 

#3 ACCESS TO HEALTH SERVICES FOR REFUGEES AND REFUGEE CLAIMANTS

Proposed by Ottawa Council of Women

Whereas #1    the 1984 Canada Health Act states that its mandate is “to protect, promote and restore the physical and mental well being of residents of Canada and to facilitate reasonable access to health services without financial or other barriers”; and

Whereas #2    in recent years an Interim Federal Health program (IFH) has provided refugee claimants with access to medical care, diagnostic services and laboratory testing similar to that provided by provincial plans, as well as access to medication, emergency dental and vision care similar to that provided for people on provincial social assistance plans; and

Whereas #3    in 2012 the Government of Canada announced significant cuts to funding for health services for all refugee claimants, but later, in response to wide-spread protests, announced that government-assisted refugees, identified as such before arrival in Canada, would not be impacted by the cuts, but those making refugee claims after arrival would be affected; and

Whereas #4    the 2012 changes have meant that:

  1. privately sponsored refugees have lost access to medication, vision and dental care through IFH,
  2. refugee claimants from countries considered by the Government of Canada to be safe countries (Designated Countries of Origin or DCOs) have no access to health services, except where there is imminent danger to public health and safety ,
  3. those from all other countries who claim refugee status after arrival in Canada have lost access to medications, vision and dental care,
  4. those whose claims for refugee status have been rejected lose any access to medical services except for reasons of public health and safety, even if for whatever reason they remain in the country for some time; and

Whereas #5    it seems contrary to the spirit of the Canada Health Act to deny health services to a group of individuals, many of whom have already suffered from war and other trauma, and some of whom will eventually become Canadian citizens; therefore be it

Resolved #1   that the National Council of Women of Canada (NCWC) adopt as policy that all refugees and refugee claimants be entitled to basic health coverage including medication, vision and dental as long as they are in Canada; and

Resolved #2   that NCWC urge the Government of Canada to restore the health coverage available to all refugees and refugee claimants before the cuts made in 2012 including medication, vision and dental coverage; and

Resolved #3   that the Government of Canada ensure through funding that these basic health services are delivered.

PLAIN LANGUAGE FORMAT

Policy Statement

The National Council of Women of Canada (NCWC) adopts as policy that that all refugees and refugee claimants be entitled to basic health coverage including medication, vision and dental as long as they are in Canada.

Request of Government

NCWC urges the Government of Canada to restore the health coverage available to all refugees and refugee claimants before the cuts made in 2012 including medication, vision and dental coverage, and ensure through funding that these basic health services are delivered.

Rationale

The 1984 Canada Health Act states that its mandate is “to protect, promote and restore the physical and mental well being of residents of Canada and to facilitate reasonable access to health services without financial or other barriers”.

In recent years an Interim Federal Health program (IFH) has provided refugee claimants with access to medical care, diagnostic services and laboratory testing similar to that provided by provincial plans, as well as access to medication, emergency dental and vision care similar to that provided for people on provincial social assistance plans.

In 2012 the Government of Canada announced significant cuts to funding  for health services for all refugee claimants, but later, in response to wide-spread protests, announced that government-assisted refugees, identified as such before arrival in Canada, would not be impacted by the cuts, but those making refugee claims after arrival would be affected.  The 2012 changes have meant that:

  1. privately sponsored refugees have lost access to medication, vision and dental care through IFH
  2. refugee claimants from countries considered by the Government of Canada to be safe countries (Designated Countries of Origin or DCOs) have no access to health services, except where there is imminent danger to public health and safety
  3. those from all other countries who claim refugee status after arrival in Canada have lost access to medications, vision and dental care
  4. those whose claims for refugee status have been rejected lose any access to medical services except for reasons of public health and safety, even if for whatever reason they remain in the country for some time.

It seems contrary to the spirit of the Canada Health Act to deny health services to a group of individuals, many of whom have already suffered from war and other trauma, and some of whom will eventually become Canadian citizens.

Background

The 1951 United Nations definition of a refugee states that a refugee is someone who “owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country. “

Refugees arrive in Canada having been forced to leave their own country, often suddenly, because of civil war, international wars, or other upheavals.  They usually arrive with almost no possessions, often with an imperfect knowledge of either French or English and their health has often been compromised by their recent experiences.

Prior to June, 2012, the Interim Federal Health (IFH) program provided refugees and refugee claimants with access to medical care, diagnostic and laboratory services similar to that provided by provincial health plans. It also provided for medications, emergency dental care and vision care similar to that available to people on provincial social assistance plans.  This meant that refugee health issues could be addressed in a timely manner so that their health would not deteriorate further while they were trying to get established or waiting for their refugee claims to be processed.

In 2012 the Government of Canada made changes to the Interim Federal Health program, giving as its rationale that it would save millions of dollars that it would deter claimants who come to Canada only to get health care, and that it provided more equity with other Canadians.  In fact refugees were receiving, not some superior type of health care, but health care that Canadians on social assistance receive, and the cost of untreated illnesses had not been factored into the estimated savings. The organization Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care points out that 35 to 45% of refugee claimants become Canadian citizens and neglecting their health may well have negative consequences.

Canada recognizes two main types of refugees:

  1. those who are identified as refugees under the1951 Geneva Convention prior to arrival in Canada, and are sponsored either by the government (in which case they still have full coverage) or privately by groups  such as churches or relatives (this group has now lost coverage for medications as well as dental and vision care). These people are covered by provincial health insurance upon arrival but did rely on the Interim Federal Health program (IFH) for access to medication, as well as dental and vision care.   Government-sponsored refugees receive a basic monthly income from the federal government, similar to social assistance rates, for up to a year; privately sponsored refugees depend on financial support from their sponsors.
  2. refugee claimants who make a claim for refugee status only after arrival in Canada. These people are divided by the government into two groups:
    1. those from a list of designated countries of origin (DCOs) which the Minister believes are safe countries and therefore should not produce refugees;  and
    2. those from all other countries.

These refugee claimants do not qualify for provincial health insurance. Non-DCO claimants have access to physicians and laboratory and diagnostic testing through IFH.  DCO claimants have no access to medical care except if they pose a risk to public health or safety where the definition is very restricted. At this point it is limited to 35 infectious disease conditions, and cases where a person needs to be hospitalized because of a risk of harming others. If refugee claimants end up on social assistance the cost of medications will be covered.

The 2012 changes mean that

  • all refugees, except for government-sponsored ones, have lost access to coverage for medications, vision and dental care.
  • claimants from DCOs no longer have any health coverage, even for urgent or essential care, except in rare cases where danger to public health or safety can be demonstrated.

 

Since the cuts were implemented some, though not all, of the provinces have agreed to meet some of the uncovered costs.

Three organizations — Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care, the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers, and Justice for Children and Youth — were so concerned about the impact of these cuts that they brought the issue before the Federal Court.  On July 4, 2014, Justice Mactavish of the Federal Court ruled that the cuts to refugee health care were “cruel and unusual treatment”  and a violation of section 20 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, as well as breaching  the Charter’s section 15 which deals with equality guarantees.  On October 1, 2014, the Government of Canada appealed the decision to the Federal Court of Appeal.  As of November 4, 2014, the Government of Canada has moved to restore some services.  The situation is not completely resolved.

References

Website of  Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care, www.doctorsforrefugeecare.ca

United Nations definitions www.unhcr.org

Handbook published by the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program, 2002

Ottawa Citizen January 30, 2014:  article by Elizabeth Payne:  “Health Cuts Hurt Refugees, Doctor Says. “

 

 

 

#4 MEAT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Proposed by St. Catharines & District Council of Women

Whereas #1    global populations are rising and tastes are shifting toward meat-heavy diets; and

Whereas #2    raising more meat makes it necessary to bring more land into cultivation resulting in more deforestation and increased fertilizer use; and

Whereas #3    increased methane emissions from livestock combined with the increased deforestation and fertilizer use will likely cause greenhouse gas emissions from food production to increase by almost 80% by 2050; and

Whereas #4    reducing meat consumption, particularly beef, in favour of plant-based eating would help reduce environmental damage; therefore be it

Resolved #1   that the National Council of Women of Canada (NCWC) adopt as policy that Canadians be encouraged to eat less meat, particularly beef, as a means of reducing climate change; and be it further

Resolved #2   that the NCWC urge the Government of Canada to encourage Canadians to eat less meat, particularly beef, by educating people on the beneficial effects of reducing meat consumption, i.e. less deforestation, fertilizer use and methane production and thereby reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

 

PLAIN LANGUAGE FORMAT

Policy Statement

The National Council of Women of Canada (NCWC) adopts as policy that Canadians be encouraged to eat less meat, particularly beef, as a means of reducing climate change.

Request of Government

NCWC urges the Government of Canada to encourage Canadians to eat less meat, particularly beef, by educating people on the beneficial effects of reducing meat consumption, i.e. less deforestation, fertilizer use and methane production and thereby reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Rationale

Global populations are rising and tastes are shifting toward meat-heavy diets.  Raising more meat makes it necessary to bring more land into cultivation resulting in more deforestation and increased fertilizer use.

Increased methane emissions from livestock combined with the increased deforestation and fertilizer use will likely cause greenhouse gas emissions from food production to increase by almost 80% by 2050.  Reducing meat consumption, particularly beef, in favour of plant-based eating would help reduce environmental damage;

Background

  1. Changing global diets is vital to reducing climate change, researchers say. Science Daily, August 31, 2014. Source: University of Cambridge.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140831150209.htm

“As populations rise and global tastes shift towards meat-heavy Western diets, increasing agricultural yields will not meet projected food demands of what is expected to be 9.6 billion people – making it necessary to bring more land into cultivation.  This will come at a high price, warn the authors, as the deforestation will increase carbon emissions as well as biodiversity loss, and increased livestock production will raise methane levels.”

“The study shows that increased deforestation, fertilizer use and livestock methane emissions are likely to cause GHG [greenhouse gas] from food production to increase by almost 80%”

  1. Fight Climate Change With a New Diet. Timi Gustafson, Registered Dietitian, Health Counselor, Huffington Post, February 7, 2014.

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/timi-gustafson/vegetarian-diet_b_5552288.html

“70% of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture come from farm animals, in particular from cows, sheep and other grazing livestock.  Much of these emissions could be eliminated if the demand for animal food products like beef, lamb and pork could be lessened.”

“Cutting back on steaks and burgers has similar environmental benefits as using your car less often…For example, in terms of reducing environmental impact, having just one less burger a week is like driving 320 fewer miles.  Skipping meat and cheese one day a week equals not driving for five weeks.  If a family of four forgoes eating steak once a week, it’s the equivalent of leaving their car in the garage for three months.  And is every American observed just one meatless day per week, it would be the same as taking 7.6 million cars off the road for good.

  1. Meeting climate targets may require reducing meat, dairy consumption. Science Daily. March 30, 2014. Source: Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140330193735.htm

The UN climate target limits global warming to 2 degrees Celsius.  “If agricultural emissions are not addressed, nitrous oxide from fields and methane from livestock may double by 2070.  This alone would make meeting the climate target essentially impossible…By 2050, estimates indicate that beef and lamb will account for half of all agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, while only contributing 3 percent of human calorie intake.  Cheese and other dairy products will account for about one quarter of total agricultural climate pollution.”

  1. The Real Price of Steak. Wiezmann Institute for Science, July 21, 2014.

http://wis-wander.weizmann.ac.il/the-real-price-of-steak#.VDFSaNgtC1s

“The team looked at the five main sources of protein in the American diet: dairy, beef, poultry, pork and eggs.  Their idea was to calculate the environmental inputs – the costs – per nutritional unit: a calorie or gram of protein.

…eating beef is more costly to the environment by an order of magnitude – about ten times on average – than other animal-derived foods, including pork and poultry.  Cattle require on average 28 times more land and 11 times more irrigation water, are responsible for releasing 5 times more greenhouse gases, and consume 6 times as much hydrogen, as eggs or poultry.”

 

 

#5 MEDICALLY ASSISTED DEATH

Proposed by St. Catharines & District Council of Women

Whereas #1    voluntary euthanasia and physician assistance to end one’s life are illegal in Canada; and

 

Whereas #2    84% of Canadians support medically assisted death; and

 

Whereas #3    palliative care is sometimes not enough to reduce pain and maintain dignity, and

Whereas #4    jurisdictions where assisted suicide is legal, with safeguards, include the Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Montana, Oregon, Vermont Washington and Quebec; and

 

Whereas #5    since assisted death takes place in all jurisdictions even if illegal, it is better to have it legal with safeguards; therefore be it

 

Resolved #1   that the National Council of Women of Canada (NCWC) adopt as policy that medically assisted dying comprised of voluntary euthanasia and doctor-assisted death, with safeguards, be legal; and be it further

 

Resolved #2   that NCWC urge the Government of Canada to:

  1. remove doctor-assisted death and voluntary euthanasia from the Criminal Code of Canada, and
  2. set up safeguards through an Act permitting medically assisted death including the following criteria:
  • the person must be terminally ill
  • no person shall qualify solely because of age or disability
  • the person must make two oral requests and one written request for assistance in dying, or by using alternate communication methods for those with verbal or physical challenges
  • the person’s physician and a consulting physician must verify that the patient is capable, is acting voluntarily and has made an informed decision
  • the person must not be suffering from a psychiatric or psychological disorder or depression causing impaired judgement
  • the person must be informed of the feasible alternatives such as comfort care, hospice care and pain control
  • the person is given 15 days to rescind the request

 

PLAIN LANGUAGE FORMAT

Policy Statement

The National Council of Women of Canada (NCWC) adopts as policy that medically assisted dying comprised of voluntary euthanasia and doctor-assisted death, with safeguards, be legal.

Request of Government

NCWC urges the Government of Canada to:

  1. remove doctor-assisted death and voluntary euthanasia from the Criminal Code of Canada, and
  2. set up safeguards through an Act permitting medically assisted death including the following criteria:
  • the person must be terminally ill
  • no person shall qualify solely because of age or disability
  • the person must make two oral requests and one written request for assistance in dying, or by using alternate communication methods for those with verbal or physical challenges
  • the person’s physician and a consulting physician must verify that the patient is capable, is acting voluntarily and has made an informed decision
  • the person must not be suffering from a psychiatric or psychological disorder or depression causing impaired judgement
  • the person must be informed of the feasible alternatives such as comfort care, hospice care and pain control
  • the person is given 15 days to rescind the request

 

Rationale

Voluntary euthanasia and physician assistance to end one’s life are illegal in Canada, but 84% of Canadians support medically assisted death.

 

Palliative care is sometimes not enough to reduce pain and maintain dignity.

 

Jurisdictions where assisted suicide is legal, with safeguards, include the Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Montana, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and Quebec.

 

Since assisted death takes place in all jurisdictions even if illegal, it is better to have it legal with safeguards.

Background

  1. Criminal Code of Canada section 241: “Everyone who a) counsels a person to commit suicide, or b) aids or abets a person to commit suicide, whether suicide ensues or not, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.”
  2. Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide (Update 2007). Canadian Medical Association, CMA Policy, 2007

http://policybase.cma.ca/dbtw-wpd/Policypdf/PD07-01.pdf

 

Definitions:

“Euthanasia means knowingly and intentionally performing an act that is explicitly intended to end another person’s life and that includes the following elements: the subject has an incurable illness; the agent knows about the person’s condition; commits the act with the primary intention of ending the life of that person; and the act is undertaken with empathy and compassion and without personal gain.”

“Voluntary Euthanasia  is limited to situations where the subject is a competent, informed person who has voluntarily asked for his or her life to be ended.”

“Assistance in suicide means knowingly and intentionally providing a person with the knowledge or means or both required to commit suicide, including counselling about lethal doses of drugs, prescribing such lethal doses or supplying the drugs.”

  1. Summary of findings from Dying with Dignity 2014 Ipsos-Reid Poll. Executive Summary, Dying with Dignity Canada.

http://www.dyingwithdignity.ca/resources/first-release-poll-results/inner_articles/720.php

84% agree that a doctor should be allowed to help someone end his/her life.

85% of the disability community support medically assisted dying.

85% of individuals in regulated health professions support assisted dying.

80% of all Christians support assisted dying including 83% of Catholics.

  1. Life, Wisconsin Right to Life 2013. Where it is legal in the World.

http://www.wrtl.org/assisted suicide/assistedsuicide/whereitislegalworld.aspx

“Several countries have legalized …assisted suicide: The Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, Columbia [no safeguards], and Luxembourg.

  1. State by State Guide to Physician–assisted Suicide. ProCon.org, Euthanasia.

http://euthanasia.procon.org/

Four States with legal physician assisted suicide are Montana, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington.

  1. Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act, Oregon Health Authority Annual Reports 2012.

http://public.health.oregon.gov/ProviderPartnerResources/EvaluationResearch/DeathwithDignityAct/Documents/year15.pdf

 

Of the patients who took part in Oregon Death with Dignity Act deaths in 2012, 97% were enrolled in hospice care.

“The three most frequently mentioned end-of-life concerns were: loss of autonomy, decreasing ability to participate in activities that made life enjoyable and loss of dignity.”

 

The Oregon Death with Dignity Act

A person seeking physician-assisted suicide must meet certain criteria:

  • The person must be terminally ill
  • No person shall qualify solely because of age or disability
  • The person must make two oral requests and one written request for assistance in dying
  • The person’s physician and a consulting physician must verify that the patient is capable, is acting voluntarily and has made an informed decision
  • The person must not be suffering from a psychiatric or psychological disorder or depression causing impaired judgement
  • The person must be informed of the feasible alternatives such as comfort care, hospice care and pain control
  • The person is given 15 days to rescind the request

 

  1. Physician Assisted Suicide: The Great Canadian Euthanasia Debate by Arthur Schafer, University of Manitoba, 2013.

http://umanitoba.ca/faculties/arts/departments/philosophy/ethics/media/Physician_Assisted_Suicide_-_The_Great_Canadian_Euthanasia_Debate_-_IJLP_-_formatted_in_APA_style.pdf

“It has been predicted that legalization of PAS [physician assisted suicide] would adversely impact the provision of palliative care services…. This worrying prognostication, however, does not seem to have been fulfilled anywhere that PAS has been legalized.  In Oregon, for example, the state introduced significant improvements in its palliative care system prior to the introduction of PAS. …respect for treatment refusals, which has grown dramatically over the past few decades, has coincided with dramatic improvements (in Canada and elsewhere) to palliative care rather than to deterioration.” P.32, 33, 34

“Defenders of a more permissive (but carefully regulated system) claim that when a practice such as PAS is decriminalized, and when the practice is carefully regulated and monitored and the results recorded, published and studied, the end result is a society in which the most vulnerable citizens are better protected than would otherwise be the case….there is insufficient evidence of harm, either to vulnerable individuals or to society, to justify continued denial of autonomy to those competent adults who wish to have the option of physician assistance in hastening their death.” P.34,35

 

  1. Bill 52: An Act Respecting End–of-Life Care. Voice for Choice, Dying With Dignity, September 2014.

http://www.dyingwithdignity.ca/resources/newsletter_archives/were-getting-closer-09-14/inner_articles/763.php

On June 14, 2014 the government of Quebec passed Bill 52 into law with an expected effective date of December 10, 2015.  This law will allow individuals at the end of life to choose medical aid in dying.

 

 

 

#6 REGULATION OF TOXINS AND BANNING OF ANTIBACTERIALS IN PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS

Proposed by St. Catharines & District Council of Women

Whereas #1    the ingredients in personal care products are mostly untested and largely unregulated; and

Whereas #2    some of the toxic chemicals found in cosmetics are carcinogens, reproductive and developmental toxins, allergens, and endocrine disruptors, and antibacterial cosmetics may contribute to antibiotic resistance in bacteria; and

Whereas #3    there is a lack of data on the long-term or combined health effects of the majority of cosmetic ingredients; and

Whereas #4    contaminants and residues do not have to be listed on a label even if they are known to be harmful, and manufacturers are not required to disclose specific fragrance ingredients; and

Whereas #5    manufacturers are required to send Health Canada a list of ingredients but not until 10 days after a product goes on the market; therefore be it

Resolved #1   that the National Council of Women of Canada adopt as policy the regulation of toxins in personal care products and the banning of antibacterial cosmetics; and be it further

 

Resolved #2   that the National Council of Women of Canada urge the Government of Canada to:

  1. test personal care products for their potential health effects before they are put on the market;
  2. ban antibacterial cosmetics;
  3. enact strict regulation that can be legally enforced for cosmetic ingredients, including contaminants and residues;
  4. require manufacturers to disclose specific fragrance ingredients and list all product ingredients on the label;
  5. require that labels warn of risk hazard with long term exposure.

 

PLAIN LANGUAGE FORMAT

Policy Statement

The National Council of Women of Canada adopts as policy the regulation of toxins in personal care products and the banning of antibacterial cosmetics.

Request of Government

The National Council of Women of Canada urges the Government of Canada to:

  1. test personal care products for their potential health effects before they are put on the market;
  2. ban antibacterial cosmetics;
  3. enact strict regulation that can be legally enforced for cosmetic ingredients, including contaminants and residues;
  4. require manufacturers to disclose specific fragrance ingredients and list all product ingredients on the label;
  5. require that labels warn of risk hazard with long term exposure.

 

Rationale

The ingredients in personal care products are mostly untested and largely unregulated.   Some of the toxic chemicals found in cosmetics are carcinogens, reproductive and developmental toxins, allergens, and endocrine disruptors, and antibacterial cosmetics may contribute to antibiotic resistance in bacteria.

There is a lack of data on the long-term or combined health effects of the majority of cosmetic ingredients.  Contaminants and residues do not have to be listed on a label even if they are known to be harmful, and manufacturers are not required to disclose specific fragrance ingredients.  Manufacturers are required to send Health Canada a list of ingredients but not until 10 days after a product goes on the market.

 

Background

  1. Canada’s cosmetic regulations could use a make-over. David Suzuki Foundation, taken off the internet on October 4, 2014.

http://www.davidsuzuki.org/issues/health/science/toxics/canadas-cosmetic-regulations-could-use-a-make-over/

“Health Canada is responsible for regulating cosmetics under the Food and Drug Act and the Cosmetic Regulations….Companies are required to notify the Minister of Health of the ingredients, and their concentrations, contained in any cosmetic sold in Canada – but not until 10 days after the product hits the market.

Many chemical ingredients in cosmetics have never been tested for their effects on human health and the environment.  Health Canada and Environment Canada are slowly working their way through the assessment of some 4,000 existing substances – including chemicals used in cosmetics – that have been categorized as potentially posing a risk to human health or the environment.  Assessment of cosmetic ingredients is often frustrated by a lack of date on exposure and long-term health effects. Moreover, of the handful of chemicals assessed to date and deemed to be toxic, those used in cosmetics generally remain unregulated, with Health Canada opting instead to place them on the Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist….the Hotlist, however, has no legal authority and cannot be enforced.  Furthermore, the Hotlist is interpreted to restrict only the direct and intentional use of listed substances in cosmetics.  Chemicals that are prohibited or restricted as ingredients may therefore still be present in cosmetics as by-products or impurities.

New rules introduced in 2006 require manufacturers to disclose cosmetic ingredients on the product label.  [A] limitation of Canada’s cosmetic labelling requirements is that they do not apply to unintentional ingredients (e.g. by-products and impurities)….A similar loophole exists for chemicals used to scent or mask scents in cosmetics.  The term fragrance or parfum on an ingredients list usually represents a complex mixture of dozens of chemicals.  Fragrance recipes are considered a trade secret so manufacturers are not required to disclose fragrance chemicals in the list of ingredients.”

  1. Guide to Less Toxic Products. Cosmetics and Personal Care. Environmental Health Association of Nova Scotia. Taken off the internet October 4, 2014.

http://www.lesstoxicguide.ca/index.asp?fetch=personal

“More than 10,000 ingredients are allowed for use in personal care products – and the average woman wears 515 of them every day, according to a 2009 British study that looked at the routines of over 2,000 women.  Very little is known about the health effects of these chemicals.  More than 90% have never been tested for their effects on human health, and complete toxicity date are available for only 7% of them.”

This website lists several personal care products with common hazardous ingredients.

  1. The Toxic Treatment: Harmful Chemicals in Canadian Cosmetics. Prevent Cancer Now, Sandra Madray, PCN Board Member. Taken off the internet October 4, 2014.

http://www.preventcancernow.ca/the-toxic-treatment-harmful-chemicals-in-canadian-cosmetics

“Health Canada regulates cosmetic ingredients through the Cosmetic Regulations under the Food and Drug Act and a ‘Hotlist’ containing more than 500 prohibited or restricted substances for cosmetic use.  By comparison, the European Union has banned approximately 1100 such ingredients and the U.S., only 11.

Manufacturers claim that their products are safe and that low levels of toxic ingredients should not affect human health – and the Canadian government agrees with this!  But we should never forget the myriad of other toxic substances that are part and parcel of our daily exposure, such as those from plastics, car exhaust, household chemicals, pesticide residues on food and trace chemicals in water.  Chemicals do react with each other, potentially compounding their negative effects.  Given the gross lack of data on long–term or combined health effects of the majority of cosmetic ingredients, low concentrations of toxic chemicals should not be reason for their approval.”

This website lists safer cosmetic companies.

  1. Toxins in Toiletries by Madeleine Bird. Canadian Women’s Health Network, Fall/Winter 2008/09, Volume 11, Number 1.

http://www.cwhn.ca/en/print/node/39367

“Toxic chemicals that have the potential to cause chronic or life-threatening harm (carcinogens, reproductive and developmental toxins, allergens, sensitizers), to change the way our body’s hormonal systems function (endocrine disruptors), or to change our DNA (mutagens), sometimes permanently so that those changes are passed on to our children, can be found in beauty isles and at cosmetics counters.  One or two exposures will not cause health problems.  The effects are more insidious and stem from the cumulative exposure of a lifetime of small, daily doses, which is just how we use these products.  There are also gaps in our understanding of the long-term health effects of individual cosmetic ingredients as well as how they behave in mixtures.  Finally, right-to-know warning labels indicating potential chronic harm from a single ingredient or a mixture of products are not required and are being actively opposed by industry.

Although regulators at Health Canada do review existing literature, particularly when a cosmetic ingredient is banned in other jurisdictions, they do not take a clear stand on the presence of toxic chemicals in cosmetics.  Specifically, Health Canada looks at individual ingredients, considers their cosmetic use and potential health risks, and then makes a decision….the individual ingredient assessment approach overlooks the regulation of toxic impurities, such as 1,4-Dioxane that may inadvertently show up in baby bubble bath products – as an accidental by-product.

…real change will come from public pressure, and structural change such as a vamped-up Hotlist, stronger industry oversight, required demonstration of cosmetics safety pre-sale, and chronic risk hazard warning labels.”

  1. Consumer Product Safety – Safety of Cosmetic Ingredients. Health Canada, April 2014.

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/cosmet-person/labelling-etiquetage/ingredients-eng.php

“The Government of Canada has completed the assessment of triclosan as part of the Chemicals Management Plan.  The review concluded that triclosan is not harmful to human health but can cause harm to the environment when used in significant amounts.  This preliminary assessment confirms that Canadians can continue to safely use products such as toothpaste, shampoo and soap containing triclosan.”

  1. Ibid: Guide to Less Toxic Products.

“Triclosan…is a synthetic antibacterial chemical added to soaps, toothpastes, mouthwash, deodorant, shaving cream and other personal care products…Triclosan…has been detected in human breast milk, and in 75% of human tissue samples taken, demonstrating widespread exposure.  Studies show that triclosan…may have endocrine disrupting effects, and in animal studies triclosan was shown to reduce thyroid hormones, which are critical for normal development….In 2009, the Canadian Medical Association called on the federal government to ban triclosan in consumer products because it causes bacterial resistance, which can interfere with the effectiveness of antibiotics.

 

 

 

#7 THE REGULATION OF ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES

Proposed by Council of Women of Winnipeg

Whereas #1    introduction of Electronic-cigarettes has proliferated despite the fact that the sale of these products is currently not compliant with the Food and Drugs Act; and

Whereas #2    no electronic smoking products have been granted market authorization in Canada; and

Whereas #3    Health Canada is advising Canadians against the purchase or use of electronic smoking products, as these may pose health risks and have not been fully evaluated for safety, quality and efficacy by Health Canada; therefore be it

Resolved #1   that NCWC adopt as a policy that the sale of e-cigarettes be curtailed until long-term research has been conducted and informed regulations are established; and be it further

Resolved #2   that NCWC urge the Government of Canada to:

  1. curtail the sale of e-cigarettes until long-term research has been conducted and informed regulations are established;
  2. enforce the Food and Drugs Act related to the non-compliance of retailers of e-cigarettes;
  3. research the long-term effects of e-cigarettes; and be it further

 

Resolved #3   that NCWC urge its federates to lobby their respective governments to establish informed regulations to reduce the health risks related to inhaling nicotine vapours via electronic  cigarettes as well as establish regulations for the distribution of electronic cigarettes; and be it further

Resolved #4   that NCWC urge the International Council of Women to urge its federates to research the risks related to the distribution and use of electronic cigarettes in their jurisdictions in order to inform their respective governments about the importance of establishing regulations.

 

PLAIN LANGUAGE FORMAT

Policy Statement

NCWC adopts as a policy that the sale of e-cigarettes be curtailed until long-term research has been conducted and informed regulations are established.

Request of Government

NCWC urges the Government of Canada to:

  1. curtail the sale of e-cigarettes until long-term research has been conducted and informed regulations are established;
  2. enforce the Food and Drugs Act related to the non-compliance of retailers of e-cigarettes;
  3. research the long-term effects of e-cigarettes.

 

Request of Councils

 

NCWC urges its federates to lobby their respective governments to establish informed regulations to reduce the health risks related to inhaling nicotine vapours via electronic  cigarettes as well as establish regulations for the distribution of electronic cigarettes.

NCWC urges the International Council of Women to urge its federates to research the risks related to the distribution and use of electronic cigarettes in their jurisdictions in order to inform their respective governments about the importance of establishing regulations.

Rationale

The introduction of Electronic-cigarettes has proliferated despite the fact that the sale of these products is currently not compliant with the Food and Drugs Act. No electronic smoking products have been granted market authorization in Canada.

Health Canada is advising Canadians against the purchase or use of electronic smoking products, as these may pose health risks and have not been fully evaluated for safety, quality and efficacy by Health Canada.

Background

Heart and Stroke Foundation: E-cigarettes in Canada. Heart and Stroke Foundation website, updated September 2014.

http://www.heartandstroke.com/site/c.ikIQLcMWJtE/b.9207931/k.D09C/Heart_and_Stroke_Foundation_Ecigarettes_in_Canada.htm

Governments need to regulate e-cigarettes to protect Canadians against possible harms and to commission further research to determine potential cessation benefits.

PROBLEM: Electronic nicotine delivery systems, e-cigarettes or electronic cigarettes are a relatively new product category, which first emerged in 2004. E-cigarettes have been growing in use and are a source of great debate among public health advocates and the media. As with most unregulated novel products, Canadians are interested in knowing more about the associated implications, including the potential health consequences and benefits. The Heart and Stroke Foundation believes that Canadians deserve accurate information to make knowledgeable decisions, and government policies to protect them against possible harms and to maximize any potential benefits related to e-cigarette use in Canada.

FACTS:

  • E-cigarettes are battery-operated vaping devices, which mimic the smoking experience using an inhalation and heating process that vapourizes an internal fluid. The liquid solution varies in composition but is usually propylene or vegetable glycol based and can be combined with other ingredients and flavours.
  • E-cigarettes are available with or without nicotine. However, e-cigarettes containing nicotine are not legally manufactured, sold or imported in Canada, but are available, albeit illegally.
  • While early studies show some potential benefits, the effectiveness of e-cigarettes with nicotine as a smoking cessation device is not fully conclusive.1,2
  • Safety concerns have arisen with these unregulated products, given that the long-term health impact of inhaling propylene or vegetable glycol and the effects of second-hand exposure are unknown.
  • Researchers and public health experts are concerned that there is potential for e-cigarettes to be a gateway to tobacco use and nicotine addiction.
  • Marketing and promotion of e-cigarettes is common. Youth are targeted with the addition of attractive candy or fruit flavours.
  • Public health experts are concerned about emerging research showing that e-cigarettes could renormalize and undermine tobacco control and smoking cessation efforts.
  • E-cigarettes are appealing to youth. A Canadian study found that 18% of high school student non-tobacco smokers had tried e-cigarettes and another 31% are interested in trying them.3

CANADIAN SOLUTIONS:
The Heart and Stroke Foundation recommends that federal, provincial and municipal governments immediately adopt the following policies, for all e-cigarettes where jurisdictionally appropriate:

  • Prohibit use of e-cigarettes in public spaces and workplaces where smoking is banned by law.
  • Prohibit e-cigarette sales in locations where tobacco sales are banned.
  • Prohibit e-cigarette sales to minors (18 or 19 years of age, depending on the minimum tobacco age in the province) as well as banning use of e-cigarettes on elementary and secondary school property.
  • Strictly regulate e-cigarette advertising and promotion, including prohibiting celebrity and lifestyle marketing, unsubstantiated health claims, retail promotion, youth targeted marketing and the co-branding of e-cigarettes with conventional cigarette brands.
  • Regulate the product, including restricting flavours attractive to youth, and requiring that e-cigarettes be visually distinct from regular cigarettes. The latter is important in order to prevent renormalization and confusion with tobacco cigarettes among youth. In particular, e-cigarettes should not include filters, glowing tips or be the same colour/shape/dimensions as a traditional tobacco cigarette.
  • Should Health Canada approve the use of e-cigarettes with nicotine, it should then have a regulatory framework that includes approval of products on a case by case basis, and development of labelling requirements. Restrict access by only allowing via prescription at the outset.
  • Actively enforce the existing ban on e-cigarettes with nicotine to prevent illegal/non-approved nicotine based e-cigarette products from being available in Canada. The federal government, through Health Canada should apply penalties to retailers who supply illegal products and supplies to the Canadian market and deter others from making such products available.
  • Dedicate research funding to enable a deeper understanding of the usage, potential benefits of e-cigarettes as a cessation device as well as their possible risks, including safety, gateway to addiction potential and renormalization.

The information contained in this statement is current as of SEPTEMBER 2014

Click here to download the PDF version of this article. (208 KB)

Last updated September 2014.

Health Canada Statement Regarding Electronic Cigarettes

March 27, 2009 – For immediate release

OTTAWA – Health Canada is advising Canadians not to purchase or use electronic smoking products, as these products may pose health risks and have not been fully evaluated for safety, quality and efficacy by Health Canada.

These products come as electronic cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos and pipes, as well as cartridges of nicotine solutions and related products. These products fall within the scope of the Food and Drugs Act, and under the Act, require market authorization before they can be imported, advertised or sold. The sale of these health products is currently not compliant with the Food and Drugs Act since no electronic smoking products have been granted a market authorization in Canada.

In recent months, a number of electronic cigarettes, cigars and pipes as well as cartridges of nicotine solutions and related products have been marketed in Canada, and through the Internet. Most of these products are shaped and look like their conventional counterparts. They produce a vapor that resembles smoke and a glow that resembles the tip of a cigarette. They consist of a battery-powered delivery system that vaporizes and delivers a liquid chemical mixture that may be composed of various amounts of nicotine, propylene glycol, and other chemicals.

Nicotine is a highly addictive and toxic substance, and the inhalation of propylene glycol is a known irritant. Although these electronic smoking products may be marketed as a safer alternative to conventional tobacco products and, in some cases, as an aid to quitting smoking, electronic smoking products may pose risks such as nicotine poisoning and addiction. Please visit the Health Canada website for further information about nicotine and addiction.

While no electronic smoking product has yet been authorized for sale in Canada, Health Canada has authorized the sale of a number of smoking cessation aids, including nicotine gum, nicotine patches, nicotine inhaler, and nicotine lozenges.

Electronic smoking products, including their nicotine cartridges, must be kept out of the reach of children at all times, given the risk of choking or nicotine poisoning. Nicotine is hazardous to the health and safety of certain segments of the population such as children, youth, pregnant women, nursing mothers, people with heart conditions, and the elderly.

Persons importing, advertising or selling electronic cigarette products in Canada must stop doing so immediately. Health Canada is providing information to interested stakeholders on how to apply for the appropriate market authorizations and establishment licences.

Canadians who have used e-cigarette products and are concerned about their health should consult with a health care practitioner.

Background information:

Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).  November 10  published their findings online. Please find a summary of their findings at:                                                                      http://www.examiner.com/article/flavorings-e-cigarettes-may-be-harmful

  • Flavorings in e-cigarettes may be harmful         November 11, 2014

Respiratory toxins in flavorings may pose a threat to the respiratory health of vapers

Robin Wulffson, M.D.

A new study by researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) express concern that the flavorings in e-cigarettes may be a health hazard. They published their findings online on November 10 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

SUGGESTED LINKS

 

 

 

#8 REDUCTION IN SUGAR CONTENT IN PROCESSED FOOD, FRUIT DRINKS AND SODA POP

Toronto and Area Council of Women

Whereas #1    foods containing excessive amounts of sugar, fructose and other caloric sweeteners contribute to the consumption by Canadians of unhealthy food causing a high incidence of unhealthy weight, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and dental problems; and

 

Whereas #2    the cost of health care for Canadians suffering from these health problems  continues to soar; and

 

Whereas #3    Canada’s food, fruit drink and soda industries continue to aggressively advertise their heavily sugar-sweetened products; and

 

Whereas #4   a medium sized bottle of soda pop (571 ml) contains about one-quarter cup of sugar (or 57 grams) and a 250 ml fruit drink contains 30 grams of sugar; and

 

Whereas #5    the amount of sugar in most heavily sweetened foods, fruit drinks and soda pop can be reduced by a minimum of one-third without a noticeable difference in taste; therefore be it

 

Resolved #1   that the National Council of Women of Canada (NCWC) adopt as policy that sugar, fructose and sweeteners in all heavily sweetened processed food, fruit drinks and soda pop be reduced by a minimum of one-third; and be it further

 

Resolved #2   that NCWC urge the Government of Canada to pass legislation to reduce by a minimum of one-third, the amount of sugar, fructose and other sweeteners in all heavily sweetened processed food, fruit drinks and soda pop.

 

PLAIN LANGUAGE FORMAT

Policy Statement

The National Council of Women of Canada (NCWC) adopts as policy that sugar, fructose and sweeteners in all heavily sweetened processed food, fruit drinks and soda pop be reduced by a minimum of one-third.

Request of Government

NCWC urges the Government of Canada to pass legislation to reduce by a minimum of one-third, the amount of sugar, fructose and other sweeteners in all heavily sweetened processed food, fruit drinks and soda pop.

Rationale

Foods containing excessive amounts of sugar, fructose and other caloric sweeteners contribute to the consumption by Canadians of unhealthy food causing a high incidence of unhealthy weight, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and dental problems.  The cost of health care for Canadians suffering from these health problems continues to soar.

 

Canada’s food, fruit drink and soda industries continue to aggressively advertise their heavily sugar-sweetened products.

 

A medium sized bottle of soda pop (571 ml) contains about one-quarter cup of sugar (or 57 grams) and a 250 ml fruit drink contains 30 grams of sugar. The amount of sugar in most heavily sweetened foods, fruit drinks and soda pop can be reduced by a minimum of one-third without a noticeable difference in taste.

 

Background

  1. Sugar, Heart Disease and Stroke. Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada Position Statement, updated September 2014.

http://www.heartandstroke.com/site/c.ikIQLcMWJtE/b.9201361/k.47CB/Sugar_heart_disease_and_stroke.htm

“Excess sugar consumption is associated with adverse health effects including heart disease, stroke, obesity, diabetes, high blood cholesterol, cancer and dental caries (cavities).”

“Children are particularly vulnerable to advertising and marketing messages.

Marketing of foods and beverages is associated with higher levels of junk food and obesity”

 

  1. Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Marketing Unveiled, Volume 3, Place: A Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Always at Your Fingertips, CDPAC – Reducing Chronic Disease in Canada

http://www.cqpp.qc.ca/documents/file/2012/Summary SSB-marketing Volume3-Place 2012-04.pdf

 

“Sugar-sweetened beverages are widely distributed and enhanced through their in-store positioning and advertising sales on the premises.”  For example, they are put at the ends of aisles, positioning at eye-level, and display racks near checkouts.  They are also marketed through posters.

 

  1. Obesity in Canada. Public Health Agency of Canada, Overview, June 2011.

http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/hp-ps/hl-mvs/oic-oac/index-eng.php

 

“The economic costs of obesity are estimated at $4.6 billion in 2008, up about 19% from $3.9 billion in 2000, based on costs associated with the eight chronic diseases most consistently linked to obesity.  Estimates rise to close to $7.1 billion when based on the costs associated with 18 chronic diseases linked to obesity.”

 

  1. Beverages for Health and Sports. Newfoundland and Labrador, Department of Health and Community Services.

http://www.health.gov.nl.ca/health/publications/beverages_health_sport.pdf

A medium size bottle of pop contains about ¼ cup of sugar, i.e. a 591 ml. Bottle of pop contains 57 grams of sugar.  250 ml. (1 cup) of fruit drink or fruit punch contains 30 grams of sugar.

 

  1. Recipe Makeover:  Reducing Sugar in the Kitchen. Eat Right Ontario, Dietitians of Canada.

https://www.eatrightontario.ca/en/Articles/Carbohydrate/Recipe-Makeover—Reducing-Sugar-in-the-Kitchen.aspx

“Up to 1/3 of the sugar in most recipes can be taken out without a noticeable difference” 

  1. Comments on World Health Organization “Guidelines: Sugars intake for adults and children”. Centre for Science in the Public Interest, Ottawa, March 31, 2014.

 

http://cspinet.org/canada/pdf/final.cspi-canada.who-sugar.consultation.mar31-2014.pdf

 

We “strongly support the World health Organization’s (WHO) advice that populations consume less than 5% of calories from free sugars…as a measure to help stall the rise and reduce the rates of overweight, obesity and dental caries…This is equivalent to less than approximately six teaspoons of free sugars per person daily based on a 2,000 calorie daily diet.”

 

 

UPDATE #1 MISSING AND MURDERED ABORIGINAL WOMEN

Proposed by Council of Women of Winnipeg

 

Whereas #1    Aboriginal women and girls continue to be disproportionately victims of violence according to Statistics Canada in relationship to their non-aboriginal counterparts; and

 

Whereas #2    Human Rights Watch Canada reports higher numbers than Statistics Canada because there is no current comprehensive date collection process and no precedent exists for the standardized collection of ethnicity data by police forces in Canada; and

 

Whereas #3    homelessness and inadequate shelter are widespread problems facing indigenous families; and

 

Whereas #4    the majority of indigenous people face dramatically lower incomes and a shortage of, and inadequately funded, culturally appropriate support services; and

 

Whereas #5    the most frequent motive in Aboriginal female homicides was “argument or quarrel” followed by “frustration, anger or despair”; and

 

Whereas #6    the link between racial discrimination and violence against aboriginal women has not yet been adequately acknowledged or addressed; therefore be it

 

Resolved #1   that the National Council of Women of Canada (NCWC) adopt as policy that all cases of missing and murdered aboriginal women be addressed effectively and immediately, and that the systemic violence against Aboriginal women be eliminated; and be it further

Resolved #2   that NCWC urge the Government of Canada to immediately address the issue of missing and murdered aboriginal women and to work with the provinces, territories and with First Nations to fund and to implement programs that do the following:

  1. enhance efforts on unresolved cases
  2. focus on prevention efforts, specifically addressing the following:
    1. providing safe, secure, affordable housing
    2. eliminating poverty
    3. increasing access to services for Aboriginal/Indigenous women
    4. restoring funding to Aboriginal/Indigenous women’s groups
    5. poviding basic quality education within Indigenous communities
    6. supporting community capacity building
    7. providing antiviolence programs
  3. increase public awareness, including programs that address racism
  4. strengthen and improve data collection
  5. include gender based analysis of all legislation and programs.

 Plain Language Format

Policy Statement

The National Council of Women of Canada will adopt as policy that all cases of missing and murdered aboriginal women be addressed effectively and immediately, and that the systemic violence against Aboriginal women be eliminated.

Request of Government

The National Council of Women of Canada urges the Government of Canada to immediately address the issue of missing and murdered aboriginal women and to work with the provinces and territories, and with the First Nations to fund and implement programs that do the following:

  1. enhance efforts on unresolved cases
  2. focus on prevention efforts – specifically addressing the following:
    1. providing safe, secure, affordable housing
    2. eliminating poverty
    3. increasing access to services for Aboriginal/Indigenous women
    4. restoring funding to Aboriginal/Indigenous women’s groups
    5. providing basic quality education within indigenous communities
    6. supporting community capacity building
    7. providing antiviolence programs
  3. increase public awareness – including programs that address racism
  4. strengthen and improve data collection
  5. include gender based analysis of all legislation and programs

Rationale

Aboriginal women and girls continue to be disproportionately victims of violence according the Statistics Canada in relationship to their non-aboriginal counterparts. Human Rights Watch Canada reports higher numbers of missing and murdered Aboriginal women than Statistics Canada because there is no current comprehensive data collection process and no precedent exists for the standardized collection of ethnicity data by police forces in Canada.  Homelessness and inadequate shelter are widespread problems facing indigenous families.  The majority of indigenous people face dramatically lower incomes and a shortage of, and inadequately funded, culturally appropriate support services. The most frequent motive in Aboriginal female homicides was “argument or quarrel” followed by “frustration, anger or despair”. The link between racial discrimination and violence against aboriginal women has not yet been adequately acknowledged or addressed.

 

References

  1. Violent victimization of Aboriginal women in the Canadian provinces, 2009, by Shannon Brennan. Released on 17 May, 2011, Statistics Canada.

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2011001/article/11439-eng.pdf

  1. It’s Time for Canada to Act on Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women by Meghan Rhoad. Human Rights Watch, May 13, 2014

http://www.hrw.org/news/2014/05/13/it-s-time-canada-act-missing-and-murdered-aboriginal-women

  1. “Canada Stolen Sisters. A human rights response to discrimination and violence against indigenous women in Canada”. Amnesty International October 2004

http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AMR20/003/2004

  1. “Fact Sheet Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women and Girls”. Native Women’s Association of Canada March 2010.

http://nwac.ca/sites/default/files/imce/NWAC_3D_Toolkit_e.pdf

  1. “Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women: A National Operational Overview”. Royal Canadian Mounted Police 2014

http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/pubs/mmaw-faapd-eng.htm

  1. “Invisible Women: A Call to Action. A report on missing and murdered Indigenous Women in Canada”. Report of the Special Committee on violence against Indigenous women. House of Commons 41st Parliament Second Session March 2014.

http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?DocId=6469851&File=9

 

 

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