Supreme Court Delivers Landmark Decision Affecting all Indigenous People

Update:

The interior of the Supreme Court of Canada' courtroom. On October 8, 2015 the Supreme Court of Canada heard an appeal. The court rendered its unanimous judgment today in this landmark decision - Daniels v. Canada (Indian Affairs and Northern Development), 2016 SCC 12.
The interior of the Supreme Court of Canada’ courtroom. On October 8, 2015 the Supreme Court of Canada heard an appeal. The court rendered its unanimous judgment today in this landmark decision – Daniels v. Canada (Indian Affairs and Northern Development), 2016 SCC 12. The court decided that non-status Indians and Métis are considered “Indians” under Section 91(24) of the 1867 Constitutional Act. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

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‘This is a great day for over 600,000 Métis and non-status Indians,’ says Dwight Dorey

Supreme Court of Canada. The Supreme Court ruled that the roughly 418,000 Métis and 214,000 non-status Indians—or First Nations people without registered Indian status – should be considered “Indians” under section 91(24) of the Constitution Act of 1867
Supreme Court of Canada. The landmark ruling gives these groups a starting point for negotiating rights, treaties, services and benefits with Ottawa. There is much work ahead for the Federal Liberal government to comply with the Supreme Court’s ruling. photo by fightyourtickets.ca
The monument in square outside Law Society of Upper Canada proclaiming that we are all equal before the law. photo by fightyourtickets.ca
The monument in square outside Law Society of Upper Canada proclaiming that we are all equal before the law. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

Canada’s top court has ruled that tens of thousands of Métis and non-status Indians are now under the jurisdiction of the federal government, in a decision that the prime minister says will have “broad consequences and impacts.”

“This is a great day for over 600,000 Métis and non-status Indians,” said Dwight Dorey, national chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, after the Supreme Court of Canada decision was released Thursday, ending a 17-year battle.

“Now hopefully we will not have to wait any longer to sit at the table.”

In the unanimous ruling, which may serve now as a starting point for those pursuing land claims and additional government services, the court held that non-status Indians and Métis are considered “Indians” under Section 91(24) of the 1867 Constitutional Act.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, said "This is a landmark ruling that will have broad consequences and impacts," adding that the government will need to study what those impacts might be.
Parliment Hill. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, said “This is a landmark ruling that will have broad consequences and impacts,” adding that the government will need to study what those impacts might be. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

“This is a landmark ruling that will have broad consequences and impacts,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, adding that the government will need to study what those impacts might be.

Harry Daniels

In 1999, prominent Métis leader Harry Daniels started the landmark Métis and non-status Indian rights case. Daniels died in 2004. (Métis Council of Prince Edward Island)

“But I can guarantee you one thing: The path forward will be together as we move forward.”

The ruling extends the federal government’s responsibilities to approximately 200,000 Métis and 400,000 non-status aboriginal people who are not affiliated with specific reserves.

The Supreme Court of Canada. The Trudeau Federal Liberal government did not budget for this decision, as it will have an enormous price tag attached to it. The ruling extends the federal government's responsibilities to approximately 200,000 Métis and 400,000 non-status aboriginal people who are not affiliated with specific reserves. photo by fightyourtickets.ca
The Supreme Court of Canada. The Trudeau Federal Liberal government did not budget for this decision, as it will have an enormous price tag attached to it. The ruling extends the federal government’s responsibilities to approximately 200,000 Métis and 400,000 non-status aboriginal people who are not affiliated with specific reserves. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

Without this clarity, indigenous communities were in a “jurisdictional wasteland with significant and obvious disadvantaging consequences,” the ruling said. The result of this “political football” was that financially, Métis and non-status Indians were deprived of significant funding for programs, services and other benefits.

“I’m very happy that we were successful in removing a blockage,” said Joseph E. Magnet, lead lawyer for the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples.

“The court recognized that this blockage has caused significant disadvantage, discrimination, and resulted in denial of programs and services that all governments recognized were necessary.”

“This is a dream come true,” said Gail Gallupe, president of McMurray Métis Local 1935. The group represents Métis people in Fort McMurray and northeastern Alberta.

Supreme Court of Canada. The case, known as Daniels vs. Canada, went to trial in 2011 and final arguments were heard in 2015. Canada's top court was asked to rule on whether the federal government has the same responsibility to Métis and non-status Indians as to status Indians and Inuit.
Supreme Court of Canada. The case, known as Daniels vs. Canada, went to trial in 2011 and final arguments were heard in 2015. Canada’s top court was asked to rule on whether the federal government has the same responsibility to Métis and non-status Indians as to status Indians and Inuit. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

‘1,2,3 punch’

Jason Madden is a Métis lawyer with Pape Salter Telleit, a firm specializing in Métis and First Nations law. He calls Thursday’s decision a “1,2,3 punch” that affirms the government has jurisdiction over, a fiduciary responsibility to and the duty to negotiate.with Métis and non-status peoples.

“It’s about certainty and accountability,” he said. “Without the certainty, government gets to play games and duck and deny.

“We believe that now we can move forward; now there is no jurisdictional barrier,” said Clément Chartier, president of the Métis National Council.

`[Government] cannot say, ‘Well we can’t deal with you because Section 91(24) doesn’t include you.’ This of course strengthens our position.”

Front door to the Supreme Court of Canada's courtroom. The Supreme Court said this decision should put an end to the back-and-forth over whether provinces or the federal government has legislative jurisdiction over Métis and non-status Indians, which often left these people with no sure way of who to turn to or negotiate with, or who to hold to account for unfulfilled obligations.
Front door to the Supreme Court of Canada’s courtroom. The Supreme Court said this decision should put an end to the back-and-forth over whether provinces or the federal government has legislative jurisdiction over Métis and non-status Indians, which often left these people with no sure way of who to turn to or negotiate with, or who to hold to account for unfulfilled obligations. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

Definition of ‘Indian’

The word Indian has two meanings, the ruling explains:

  • A broad interpretation that includes all aboriginal people.
  • A narrow meaning to distinguish First Nations from other groups.

For the purpose of defining federal jurisdiction, the broad meaning applies.

However, the ruling also does not distinguish which communities are Métis and which are non-status Indians. Determining whether particular individuals are non-status Indians or Métis — or exactly who this ruling now applies to — is a “fact-driven question to be decided on a case-by-case basis in the future.”

“There is no consensus on who is considered Métis or a non-status Indian, nor need there be. Cultural and ethnic labels do not lend themselves to neat boundaries,” the ruling said.

“Which is good,” Madden`said. “Those issues are best left for the communities themselves to answer.”

Inside the Supreme Court of Canada building. The word Indian has two meanings, the ruling explains: A broad interpretation that includes all aboriginal people. A narrow meaning to distinguish First Nations from other groups. For the purpose of defining federal jurisdiction, the broad meaning applies. photo by fightyourtickets.ca
Inside the Supreme Court of Canada building. The word Indian has two meanings, the ruling explains: A broad interpretation that includes all aboriginal people.
A narrow meaning to distinguish First Nations from other groups.
For the purpose of defining federal jurisdiction, the broad meaning applies. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

‘Overwhelmed and ecstatic’

The landmark case was launched in 1999 by prominent Métis leader Harry Daniels — then president of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples — along with Leah Gardner, a non-status Anishinaabe woman, and Terry Joudrey, a non-status Mi’kmaq man. Daniels died in 2004.

“I’m overwhelmed and ecstatic, and I wish my father were here to see this,” said Gabriel Daniels outside the court.

“He’d probably do a jig right now.”

The case, known as Daniels vs. Canada, went to trial in 2011 and final arguments were heard in 2015.

Canada’s top court was asked to rule on whether the federal government has the same responsibility to Métis and non-status Indians as to status Indians and Inuit.

Supreme Court of Canada. photo by fightyourtickets.ca
Supreme Court of Canada. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

​Leaders were screaming

Duane Morrisseau-Beck was one of about 100 people in the foyer of the Supreme Court when the decision was released.

“You should have seen the energy in this room go from zero to a hundred,” said the Métis man who lives in Ottawa, although most of his family are still in Manitoba. “The Métis leadership came walking down the hall, screaming, you could hear it.”

Morrisseau-Beck said his mother was overcome with emotion after learning of the decision.

“I guess it’s just relief and happiness,” he said. “She wants to know who the judges are so she can thank them.”

Morrisseau-Beck said he still doesn’t know exactly what the decision means, but hopes it leads to land claims for Métis communities and increased services.

He also calls it a validation of Métis rights and history.

Supreme Supreme Court of Canada. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

Canada: Genetic-Testing Bill Will Soon Become Law

Update: see previous related posts – May 22, 2011 Genetic Discrimination Continues, June 11, 2009 Insurance Companies exercise discrimination due to “perceived genetic risks”.

Parliment Hill. Canada is the only G7 country without any form of protection for people based on their genetic makeup. This new law would prohibit that practice.
Parliment Hill. Canada is the only G7 country without any form of protection for people based on their genetic makeup. This new law would prohibit that practice. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

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Proposed law would bar insurance companies, employers from requesting genetic testing or asking for results

http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2015/150904/ncomms9032/images_article/ncomms9032-f2.jpg

Brynne Stainsby knows what it’s like to be discriminated against based on her genes.

That’s why she’s keeping a close eye on a Senate bill up for final debate this week.

Bill S-201 — also known as the Genetic Non-Discrimination Act — would make it illegal for insurance companies or employers to request genetic testing or ask for test results.

Insurer asks for Genetic Test

Canada is the only G7 country without any form of protection for people based on their genetic makeup.

Stainsby’s father has the genetic mutation that causes Huntington’s disease, a degenerative brain disorder, giving her a 50/50 chance of having it too.

At 25, on the verge of starting her chiropractic career, Stainsby didn’t give much thought to her possible diagnosis until she tried to get insurance.

‘What they were saying was, until I tested myself I was sort of guilty until proven innocent.’ –Brynne Stainsby, whose father has Huntington’s disease

She was shocked to learn she’d be denied coverage unless she underwent genetic testing to prove she didn’t have the genetic mutation.

“It was really devastating and infuriating, actually,” said Stainsby.

“Basically, what they were saying was, until I tested myself I was sort of guilty until proven innocent.”

She’s never forgotten the sting of that rejection.

“I love that our citizens are protected on so many levels, but it’s devastating that this isn’t one of them yet,” said Stainsby. “This should be another of our basic human rights.

Nearly 35,000 genetic tests

The bill proposes amendments to the Canada Labour Code and the Canadian Human Rights Act to make it illegal to discriminate against people based on their genetic characteristics.

Liberal Senator James Cowan

Senator James Cowan first introduced Bill S-201in early 2013.

Right now, there are nearly 35,000 tests that can identify a person’s risk of developing thousands of conditions and diseases.

“There’s an increasing number of genetic tests for an increasing number of conditions, and as the tests become more precise, the issue becomes more important,” said Senator James Cowan, who has championed Bill S-201 since 2013.

With this kind of personalized medical information, people can make lifestyle changes, choose to be monitored more closely, participate in clinical trials and even opt for pre-emptive treatments for some conditions.

But many people forgo the tests for themselves or their children, worried they will be denied insurance coverage, face inflated premiums or risk losing their jobs.

Insurance premiums could rise

The bill will have its third and final reading this week in the Senate.

If it passes, it will be added to the list of proposed new laws to be considered by the House of Commons.

Rob Oliphant, MP

MP Rob Oliphant says a proposed law to prohibit discrimination based on genetic characteristics ‘should promote better health’ by encouraging people to get genetic testing. (CBC)

So far, the bill’s most outspoken critic is the Canadian insurance industry, which predicts premiums will go up for everyone if companies are denied access to genetic test results.

Rob Oliphant, the Liberal MP from Toronto who is sponsoring the bill if it moves into the House of Commons, said he’s heard the industry’s protests but doesn’t understand its reasoning.

“If anything, this should promote better health among people,” said Oliphant, who predicts lower insurance payouts if the bill becomes law.

“People will actually be able to be proactive about their health.”

Blacklisted for insurance

Without proof that she was free of the mutated gene for Huntington’s, Stainsby said she was blacklisted by the majority of insurance companies.

It didn’t matter to the insurance industry that she was a non-smoker, an active runner or yoga instructor.

It zeroed in on the one thing she didn’t have control of — her genes.

“That was the first time that I really realized the impact Huntington’s was having on me,” said Stainsby.

Stainsby’s father was in his 40s when he got tested for the gene. His test was positive, but Stainsby said he remains symptom-free almost 20 years later.

“My dad has been able to work. He’s already retired, he’s had this wonderful career,” said Stainsby. “So if we’re looking at genetics, I could be going down basically the same path.”

However, the insurance company wanted cold, hard proof.

She settled for less coverage than she wanted with a smaller insurance company that only asked about her personal health history.

A few years later, Stainsby finally went to get tested. The results came back negative for the Huntington’s mutation.

She was able to upgrade her insurance policy right away, but she resents having been discriminated against in the first place.

Stainsby said the federal government has recognized “just about every other major issue we’d hope to be protected from — our race, our religion, our skin colour, sexual identity.”

“Everything is protected, except genetics,” said Stainsby. “We have to have that protection.”

Toronto man who was granted right to doctor-assisted death has died

Update: see related posts – March 18, 2016 1st doctor-assisted death in Ontario granted to terminally ill Toronto man, February 17, 2016 Superior Court of Justice: Practice Advisory – Application for Judicial Authorization of Physician Assisted Death

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. The College has developed an Interim Guidance on Physician-Assisted Death: see http://www.cpso.on.ca/Policies-Publications/Policy/Interim-Guidance-on-Physician-Assisted-Death
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. The College has developed an Interim Guidance on Physician-Assisted Death: see http://www.cpso.on.ca/Policies-Publications/Policy/Interim-Guidance-on-Physician-Assisted-Death. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

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‘It was his life and his choice and we support him in that choice unconditionally,’ family says

An 81-year-old Toronto man who became the first person in Ontario to be granted a physician-assisted death has died.

The family of the man, known only as A.B., released a statement saying he died on Friday.

“Today, A.B., our dear husband, father and grandfather passed away in peace and dignity with the assistance of his caring physicians,” the statement reads.

“It was his life and his choice and we support him in that choice unconditionally.”

A.B. had said in a court affidavit that he was in the advanced stages of aggressive lymphoma. He was diagnosed in 2012.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Paul Perell granted A.B.’s exemption on Thursday after an emotional 30-minute hearing, during which Perell paused several times as he read through the details of A.B.’s suffering.

“I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room,” Emma Carver, one of A.B.’s lawyers, told CBC’s Metro Morning Friday.

“It was an amazing recount of his life. It almost felt like a eulogy as the judge started to talk about his circumstances, so it was a very unique, unique court case.”

A.B. had said in his affidavit he was bedridden and “suffering intolerable pain and distress that cannot be eliminated,” despite receiving pain medication and other narcotics.

Physician-assisted death decision

Lawyer Andrew Faith speaks outside Superior Court in Toronto after his client won permission for a doctor-assisted death, on Thursday, March 17, 2016. (Colin Perkel/Canadian Press)

No government opposition

Neither the federal nor provincial government opposed the man’s request for physician-assisted death.

A.B.’s lawyer, Andrew Faith, read a statement on behalf of his client following the judge’s decision. A.B., a married grandfather, thanked the court for rendering a decision that would allow him to die with dignity.

“This is a right of human dignity and I am thankful that I no longer have to live under a cloud of stigma and shame that I feel as I slowly and painfully lose control,” the statement read.

The court had heard there are two options for a doctor-assisted death: an oral dose of a lethal medication or a lethal dose of a general anesthetic administered intravenously. The medication taken orally is not available in Ontario.

The lawyer for A.B.’s doctors said a hospital had agreed to provide A.B.’s hematologist with the lethal dosage of the anesthetic, which A.B.’s doctor was willing to administer.

When addressing the court, Faith said his client’s condition was worsening. He stressed the urgency of A.B.’s request to die.

The family said in their statement that seeing A.B.’s wish granted gave them the “strength to weather our grief at his departure. In death, he has been restored to the strong, vibrant and dignified man we knew before cancer and extraordinary pain brought him to his knees.”

“It is bittersweet,” Carver told CBC. “Obviously the victory means the end of his journey, but I think this is really what he wanted and so he was so thankful to receive this decision.”

Only regret

A.B. said he’d had a good life and that his only regret was having to wage a court battle in his final months.

“My hope is that our government will see fit to make permanent changes in the law so that no other family will have to do this ever again,” A.B. said.

His family said in their statement Friday, they plan to do everything they can to make certain the “legislation to allow physician-assisted death is enshrined quickly and permanently.”

Carver says A.B.’s precedent-setting case in Ontario should help pave the way for future applicants.

“It’s going to be really important for future applicants who want to have this done and hopefully for them, they can do this without as much work as we had to do,” Carver said.

Names of doctors involved will stay confidential

Earlier this month, a judge ruled against a media request to identify the doctors involved in the court case.

Justice Thomas McEwen heard arguments from lawyers representing A.B., his doctors and media outlets over an application to keep the identities of the patient, his family and his health-care providers private.

CBC, CTV, the Globe and Mail and Postmedia did not contest the patient’s own wish for anonymity, as well as anonymity for his family. However, the media outlets did ask the court for permission to identify the health-care professionals involved.

McEwen ruled that “the confidentiality order is necessary in order to ensure that the applicant, his family, physicians and other health-care professionals are not deterred from participating in a charter application for fear of unwanted publicity and media attention.”


Read the family’s full statement: 

“Today, A.B., our dear husband, father and grandfather passed away in peace and dignity with the assistance of his caring physicians. It was his life and his choice and we support him in that choice unconditionally.   

We are so thankful for the ongoing care, guidance and medical assistance from his enlightened and compassionate physicians, who like A.B., believed strongly that an individual deserves to be the author of their own journey’s end when the pain is intolerable and there is no further hope for recovery.

We are grateful to our lawyers Andrew Faith and Emma Carver of Polley Faith LLP who helped us understand every nuance of this case and unwaveringly helped our treasured A.B. to stand up for his rights and articulate his reasoning to the courts. 

Finally, we would also like to thank Superior Court Justice Paul Perell for listening so carefully to our story, applying the law and understanding the critical need for a speedy decision based on A.B.’s considerable and growing pain and suffering.  

Seeing our beloved A.B. calm, peaceful and without stigma and shame at his life’s end gives us the strength to weather our grief at his departure.  In death, he has been restored to the strong, vibrant, and dignified man we knew before cancer and extraordinary pain brought him to his knees. Knowing that his wishes were carried out takes away the sting of his death. The courage he showed us at the end will dwell in our hearts forever and eventually allow the sun and the stars to shine bright enough on our family to mend the hole that is left because of his death. 

We are so very proud that he used his last limited energy to fight for something he believed in so fundamentally: the right to decide when he was ready to pass and the right to have the assistance to do so with comfort and dignity. It was his most fervent hope that our government will take the steps necessary to ensure that all Canadians can gain this right — without having to battle in the courts — should they choose to exercise it according to their own circumstances and beliefs.

Our grandpa, dad, husband was a proud citizen of this country and believed Canada to be the best place in the world.  In his memory, we will do everything we can to continue to make this a reality which includes making certain that the legislation to allow physician assisted death is enshrined – quickly and permanently.”

1st doctor-assisted death in Ontario granted to terminally ill Toronto man

Update:

Supreme Court of Canada. In the case of Carter v. Canada, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) considered whether the criminal prohibition on physician-assisted death violates the Charter rights of competent adults, who are suffering intolerably from grievous and irremediable medical conditions, and seek assistance in dying. The SCC unanimously determined that an absolute prohibition on physician-assisted death does violate the Charter rights of these individuals, and is unconstitutional. The SCC suspended its decision for 12 months (until February 6, 2016) to allow the federal and/or provincial governments to design, if they so choose, a framework to govern the provision of physician-assisted death. In December 2015, the federal government applied to the SCC for an extension to the 12-month suspension period. Upon consideration of the federal government’s request, the SCC determined that a four-month extension was warranted. The SCC ruled that during the four-month extension period, an individual who is suffering intolerably from a grievous and irremediable medical condition, and wishes to seek assistance in dying, must obtain an exemption from the superior court in the individual’s jurisdiction
Supreme Court of Canada.
In the case of Carter v. Canada, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) considered whether the criminal prohibition on physician-assisted death violates the Charter rights of competent adults, who are suffering intolerably from grievous and irremediable medical conditions, and seek assistance in dying. The SCC unanimously determined that an absolute prohibition on physician-assisted death does violate the Charter rights of these individuals, and is unconstitutional. The SCC suspended its decision for 12 months (until February 6, 2016) to allow the federal and/or provincial governments to design, if they so choose, a framework to govern the provision of physician-assisted death.
In December 2015, the federal government applied to the SCC for an extension to the 12-month suspension period. Upon consideration of the federal government’s request, the SCC determined that a four-month extension was warranted. The SCC ruled that during the four-month extension period, an individual who is suffering intolerably from a grievous and irremediable medical condition, and wishes to seek assistance in dying, must obtain an exemption from the superior court in the individual’s jurisdiction.

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Man suffering ‘intolerable’ pain says decision allows him to control ‘when my journey will end’

In a first for Ontario, a judge has granted an exemption that will allow a terminally ill Toronto man to end his life with the assistance of a doctor.

The 81-year-old man — who is only identified by his initials, A.B. — has said in a court affidavit that he is in the advanced stages of aggressive lymphoma. He was diagnosed in 2012.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Paul Perell granted A.B.’s exemption on Thursday after a 30-minute hearing. His family has said A.B. wants to die this weekend or sooner.

Supreme Court of Canada. From February 6, 2016 to June 6, 2016, physician-assisted death is accessible only to individuals who receive an exemption from a superior court judge. Following June 6, 2016, physician-assisted death will be legal in Canada. At that time, subject to any prohibitions or restrictions that may be imposed in future legislation or policy, physicians will be legally permitted to assist competent adults who are suffering intolerably from grievous and irremediable medical conditions to end their lives.
Supreme Court of Canada. From February 6, 2016 to June 6, 2016, physician-assisted death is accessible only to individuals who receive an exemption from a superior court judge. Following June 6, 2016, physician-assisted death will be legal in Canada. At that time, subject to any prohibitions or restrictions that may be imposed in future legislation or policy, physicians will be legally permitted to assist competent adults who are suffering intolerably from grievous and irremediable medical conditions to end their lives.

Neither the federal nor provincial government opposed the man’s request.

A.B.’s lawyer, Andrew Faith, read a statement on behalf of his client following the judge’s decision. A.B., a married grandfather, thanked the court for rendering a decision that will allow him to die with dignity.

“[The decision] relieves me from the mental and physical pain, should I so choose. But what is really important is that it allows me to be in control of when and how my journey will end. This is a right of human dignity and I am thankful that I no longer have to live under a cloud of stigma and shame that I feel as I slowly and painfully lose control.

A.B. also said he’s had a good life and that his only regret was having to wage a court battle in his final months.

“My hope is that our government will see fit to make permanent changes in the law so that no other family will have to do this ever again. I believe firmly in the right to die with dignity and that it is a right that should be available to all Canadians to exercise according to their circumstances and beliefs.”
1st for Ontario

Last year, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down laws that bar doctors from helping someone die, but put the ruling on hold for a year.

In February, the court granted the government a four-month extension, but said the terminally ill could ask the courts for an exemption to the ban during that period.

Perell said A.B.’s condition and circumstances met the criteria for such an exemption. He is:

  • Mentally competent.
  • In extreme pain.
  • Freely making the assisted-death request without coercion or manipulation.

Perell also became emotional, pausing several times as he read for the court information that details A.B.’s suffering.

A.B. said he is bedridden and “suffering intolerable pain and distress that cannot be eliminated” despite receiving pain medication and other narcotics.

His wish to end his life was supported in affidavits from his wife and his daughter.

“It is crippling emotionally to see someone you love in so much pain, so much distress,” A.B.’s daughter said in her affidavit.

The court heard there are two options for a doctor-assisted death: an oral dose of a lethal medication or a lethal dose of a general anesthetic administered intravenously. The medication taken orally is not available in Ontario.

The lawyer for A.B.’s doctors said a hospital has agreed to provide A.B.’s hematologist with the lethal dosage of the anesthetic, which A.B.’s doctor is willing to administer.

When addressing the court, Faith said his client’s condition was worsening and stressed the urgency of his request to die.

Names of doctors involved will stay confidential

Earlier this month, a judge ruled against a media request to identify the doctors involved in the court case.

Justice Thomas McEwen heard arguments from lawyers representing A.B., his doctors and media outlets over an application to keep the identities of the patient, his family and his health care providers private.

CBC, CTV, the Globe and Mail and Postmedia did not contest the patient’s own wish for anonymity, as well as anonymity for his family. However, the media outlets did ask the court for permission to identify the health-care professionals involved.

McEwen ruled that “the confidentiality order is necessary in order to ensure that the applicant, his family, physicians and other health-care professionals are not deterred from participating in a charter application for fear of unwanted publicity and media attention.”

Alberta: Introduced “An Act to End Predatory Lending”

Update:

alberta, premier, rachel, notley, targets, payday, lenders, vowing, legislation
The Alberta government indicated in the throne speech, it intends to cap interest rates charged by payday loan companies.

see source

The payday loans industry says it was caught off guard when the Alberta government introduced legislation against “predatory lending” in Tuesday’s throne speech.

“We were unaware of any sort of plans to introduce legislation up until now,” said Tony Irwin, chairman of the Canadian Payday Loan Association. “That’s a surprise to us. That was something new that we hadn’t expected.”

Irwin said the association had been working with the provincial government for several months and expected changes would be made through existing regulatory framework rather than a bill called An Act to End Predatory Lending.

“I think it’s the name certainly that probably gets lots of sort of strong reaction from people,” said Irwin when asked about it.

“It’s certainly a word that is quite — it’s not one that we’re used to seeing, put it to you that way.”

In the throne speech, the government indicated one of its priorities during this session is to cap interest rates charged by payday loan companies, which it said can be as high as 600 per cent a year.

Irwin said that number misrepresents his industry.

“It simply doesn’t reflect the nature of what the product is,” he said. “A payday loan is a fee-based product not an interest-rate based product.

“If we were giving someone a payday loan over the course of the entire year that’s, of course, how you’d get to that 600 per cent APR (annual percentage rate) and that is certainly a high number.

“A payday loan is provided to someone — the average length of time is typically 10 days, so of course you don’t get anywhere near that figure in such a short period of time.”

Payday loans have long been a priority for her government, but now more so than ever, said Premier Rachel Notley.

“There’s no question that there are more people who are vulnerable to them now with the slowdown in the economy that we’re experiencing,” she said.

“We believe it’s really important to stepping as quickly as we can to try and limit the damage that can occur in those situations.”

The government is also working with other providers such as credit unions and Momentum, a Calgary organization that promotes community economic development, to offer short-term loans at reasonable rates, she said.

The Alberta government indicated in the throne speech, it intends to cap interest rates charged by payday loan companies.

Currently there are more than 30 payday loan companies operating in Alberta with more than 220 outlets.

Lenders can charge $23 per $100 borrowed in Alberta, which according to the province is the second highest rate in the country.

The province said it consulted with Albertans from October to December through an online survey that saw more than 1,400 responses, in addition to in-person interviews with payday loan clients.

The government said the vast majority said allowable borrowing costs are too high.

Three of four also said Alberta should limit the amount of money that can be borrowed.

Irwin said whatever limits the government decides on must be based on sound analysis so the industry remains viable.

“That decision really should rest between the lender and the borrower,” he said. “All lenders number one have an interest in being repaid.

“So they certainly take seriously how much they’re lending, because obviously businesses can’t operate for long if you give loans and don’t get them paid back.”

Liberal leader David Swann has already said his party would be supporting the legislation.

“I don’t think there are enough products out there so I think ATB has to step up,” he said. “These private operators either need to step in line with more reasonable interest rates and terms or they need to get out.”