Catholic Women's League of Saskatchewan

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Resolutions Communiqué #3 - February 2016

Resolutions Communiqué #4 - June 2016

Resolutions/Legislation Communiqué #5 - October 2016



Resolutions/Legislation Communiqué #5 - October 2016

  Rita Hengen, Provincial Resolutions Chairperson


Resolutions 2016.04/.05 call for amendments to the Canada Health Act. What is the Canada Health Act? It … “is federal legislation that puts into place conditions by which individual provinces and territories in Canada may receive funding for health care services.” (Internet c.2004-2007)


The Brief accompanying Resolution 2016.04 Amend the Canada Health Act to Identify Palliative care as a Insured Health Service includes the WHO definition of palliative care in addition to information on available services in Canada, ranging from 16% to 30% (2014 stats), depending on where Canadians live. The Prime Minister’s Mandate Letter to Hon. Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, lists, among other health services, palliative care (when necessary). In response to my letter to Hon. Jean-Yves Duclos (Minister of Families, Children and Social Development) questioning if supporting families and children with sufficient funding to provide palliative and hospice care would be a better option than euthanasia, Jean-Luc Plourde answered on his behalf, “We have made commitments to supporting quality end-of-life services and will continue to work with provinces and territories to improve palliative care.” (May 18/16) It appears that palliative care is on the government’s radar. Let’s ensure it remains on the radar by following up on the suggestions of the Action Plan of the resolution.


May I suggest some practical ways we can “use a language of mercy which is expressed in gestures and attitudes” (Pope Francis) and not just words to assist those who are in palliative care: pray, study the issue, watch the videos on, share personal stories, write letters, visit, donate money, gifts cards (food/gas), drive to appointments, listen, housework, child care, shop, etc.


Resolution 2016.05 Amend the Canada Health Act to include Home Care as an Insured Health Service


On October 1, 2015, the Liberal Party of Canada announced its plans to put money into health and home care and work out a new Health Accord with provinces and territories. The plan included an injection of $3 billion dollars spread over the next four years for home care service. Hon. Jane Philpott’s Mandate letter clearly states “support the delivery of more and better home care services.” ( For the Minister of Health.) Encourage councils and members to follow through with the Action Plan of the resolution and become familiar with the terms of the Health Accord that is being discussed. Is the promise to improve home care across the country actually taking place?






My June 2016 legislation communiqué mentioned Rowan’s Law, an Ontario law that deals with concussions. An October 25/16 article titled Planned concussion strategy promises national standards (Hall, Vicki, [Calgary] Regina Leader Post p.B4) outlined the federal government’s initiative to invest $1.4 million “to develop national guidelines for the management of concussions in amateur sports.” Sports Minister Carla Qualtrough and Jane Philpott, Minister of Health are joining forces to ensure that “this serious public health issue is addressed comprehensively and consistently across the country.” Parents, coaches and athlete’s themselves need to be knowledgeable so that a brain injury is treated as a serious injury.


Are you lobbying for concussion strategy in your province, community and school?


Marijuana Legislation


Are your councils educating themselves on the ramifications of legalized marijuana? Recently The Leader Post newspaper carried a six-part National Post series that delved into medical benefits and risks, regulations, crime, legal implications and more. The information is mind-bending! Perhaps someone in your council is passionate about this subject and could facilitate discussion of the pros and cons. Write letters to Justice Minister Hon. Jody Wilson-Raybould, Health Minister Hon. Jane Philpott and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Hon. Ralph Goodale. No stamps needed to letters to MP’s.


U of R Online Therapy Unit


The Online Therapy Unit now offers an eight week program for anyone over 18 years of age who experiences depression and anxiety after a cardiac event. Spearheading the program is PhD student Luke Schneider. Access information at


Saskatchewan 2016 Resolution


The Saskatchewan Labeling of Over the Counter Medications resolution, submitted by Yorkton Council, was not presented at the national convention in August. The response from the national resolutions committee states “it was found that a document from Health Canada was adopted in April, 2015, effective February 2016 where the resolved clause has already been put into effect for prescription drugs in June 2015 and will become effective for non-prescription drugs in June 2017.” (Letter dated July 19, 2016).



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Resolutions Communiqué #4 - June 2016

  Rita Hengen, Provincial Resolutions Chairperson



The Labeling of Over the Counter Medications resolution that was submitted by St. Gerard’s Council from Yorkton is moving on to the national level. We congratulate them for their success thus far. We will watch with particular interest to see if it will be accepted. 


The Saskatchewan Government has called for a review of its current approach to organ and tissue donations and to propose ways to increase donations. Saskatchewan’s organ and tissue donation rate is low in comparison to our Canadian counterparts and other countries – deceased donor rates range from 17 per million across Canada (2014), 35 per million in Spain (2012) and 23 per million in France, Belgium and the United States (2012). Saskatchewan (population slightly higher than a million) lags behind at 11 deceased donors (2015). Recent statistics indicate that 95 Saskatchewan residents are on the list for a kidney transplant and 68 for a cornea transplant, both procedures usually done in the province. Responsibility for donations and transplantation rests with the Saskatchewan Transplant Program (1989).


Two past resolutions have focused on this life-enhancing/life saving possibility, namely 1995.3 Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness and 2011.03 National Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Registry. Both highlight the need for our CWL members to educate themselves about organ and tissue donation and transplantation. Be aware that next-of-kin can override a donor sticker on a health card. It is important to communicate your wishes to your loved ones either verbally, or better yet, by writing them down. After all, “One organ donor can save up to eight lives, and one tissue donor can improve the lives of more than 75 people.” (Government of Saskatchewan.  Saskatchewan to Review Organ and Tissue Donation, May 19, 2016.


Let’s continue to pressure the government for mental health and palliative care funding. 


Stay tuned for the 2016 resolutions that will be passed at the national convention in August. 


Blessings! Have a great summer! 


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Resolutions Communiqué #3 - February 2016

  Rita Hengen, Provincial Resolutions Chairperson


Gardeners beware! You may be purchasing seeds and plants that have been treated with neonicotinoid pesticides. The Brief accompanying Resolution 2015.03 Banning the Use of Neonicotinoid Pesticides references the article “Gardeners Beware 2014 Bee-Toxic Pesticides Found in ‘Bee-Friendly’ Plants sold at Garden Centers Across the U.S. and Canada.” Friends of the Earth, 2014.Web.15 Aug. 2015. (We fixed the “Friends of the Earth” reference). The article details a study of plants that were purchased from nursery outlets and garden centres in 18 cities in the U.S. and three provinces, namely British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. The garden centres mentioned are large, popular garden shopping locations. The study revealed that 51% of commercial nursery plants had neonicotinoid residue, therefore chances of purchasing a contaminated plant are high. I note on carrot seed packets I bought that the organic packet states no herbicides, pesticides or man made fertilizers were used to produce the seeds; the regular packet does not. As suggested in the Action Plan of the resolution, I wrote letters to my provincial MLA’s, the premier and the federal environment minister as well as to the seed companies Prairie Garden Seeds, Stokes and McKenzie re this issue. Let’s educate our members and pressure our provincial and federal government to ban neonicotinoid pesticides.


Follow-up: I received a reply from McKenzie Seeds and Stokes Seeds. Excerpts from the responses include:  

  • “McKenzie Seeds does not sell, nor have we ever sold any seed treated with neonicotinoids, or neonics for short. The impact of this class of chemical on pollinating insects such as honey bees and native bees is a cause of concern which is why McKenzie Seeds has not and will not use neonicotinoid chemicals at any time.” 

  • “Stokes Seeds will provide non neonicotinoid treated seed for those who wish to plant untreated seed, but at the same time there are commercial growers who need this technology to produce a crop and in turn put food on your table”


Resolution 2015.05 Reinstatement of the Mandatory Long-Form Census


The ink had barely dried on this resolution when Hon. Navdeep Bains, federal minister of innovation, science and economic development announced on November 5, 2015, that the newly-elected federal government would indeed revive the mandatory long census form. The next census is scheduled for 2016. SUMA (Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association) promoted the reinstatement. SUMA CEO Laurent Mougeot said, “We believe that this census will help us tag and identify some of the demographic (and) structural changes that have occurred to this province in the past five years.” Lypny, Natascia. SUMA convention at head of busy political year. Leader Post, Feb.1/16 p.A2.


May I suggest we communicate our approval of the government’s swift response to this issue.


Resolution 2015.02 Ban Plastic Microbeads in Personal Care Products


Exfoliating. Scrub. Body wash. Cleanser. Refining cream. Polish. These descriptive words are taken from the product name of personal care products that may contain plastic microbeads. Microbeads are small plastic beads found in toothpaste, facial scrubs and wrinkle cream as well as industrial cleanser. Microbeads are found in high concentrations in waterways and aquatic life. They are too small for water treatment plants to screen out. Products that contain polyethylene, polypropylene, propelethylene terphthalate, poly(mthyl-methacrylate),and nylon should be avoided.


In March, 2015, NDP environment critic Megan Leslie introduced a motion requesting the federal government to add plastic microbeads to the list of possible toxic substances. The motion passed unanimously. In May, 2015, Liberal environment critic John McKay introduced Bill C-680 The Ban the Bead Bill.


Now that we have a newly elected government, it is up to us to inform various ministers that we are concerned about plastic microbeads.  


Resolution 2015.01 Increased Early Intervention and Access to Children and Youth Mental Health Services


The Online Therapy Unit at the University of Regina funded through research grants from the Canadian Institute of Health Research and Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation is expected to wrap up in June 2016. Dr. Heather Hadjistavropoulous, speaker at the 2015 provincial convention, encouraged delegates to advocate for continued funding for this mental health service. A recent article in the newspaper stated that more severely depressed teens are visiting emergency rooms. May I suggest that referring technologically savvy young people to an online therapy unit might be just what they need to get help for mental health issues? Please write letters to:           Hon. Scott Moe,

               Minister of Advanced Education

               Legislative Building

               Regina SK S4S 0B3

and request continued funding for this Online Therapy Unit.


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